Why are children more susceptible?
Because children are less likely to have developed the sanitary habits necessary to prevent the illness. Proper hand-washing, sanitation and awareness are the main ways to stop E. coli from spreading. Most children have no qualms about picking up a dirty pacifier, wiping the goat straw off and popping it back in their mouth. The disease is equally severe in the elderly, but they’re less likely to pop a dirty pacifier into their mouths.
Are all animals capable of spreading the disease?
All mammals, especially cattle, are capable of spreading E. coli. It also transfers between people with improper sanitation. That’s how a lot of kids can get sick quickly.
Can’t they test for the disease at petting zoos?
Yes, they can. The problem is any animal could test clean on one day, then turn around and develop the bacteria overnight without making the animal sick. That’s why proper sanitation is a better deterrent than testing the animals.