Karen Shideler of The Wichita Eagle reminds everyone that federal health officials warned a year ago that petting zoos, fairs and similar gatherings are potential sources of illness. E. coli is potentially deadly, and federal health officials tracked three recent outbreaks to petting zoos. Other infectious diseases, including salmonella and ringworm, also have been linked to public settings that allow human-animal contact.

The Sedgwick County Zoo has a hand-washing station right across from the American Farm. The American Farm also has hand-washing stations inside the barn, as part of the restrooms there. There’s also a place for cleaning up near the giraffe feeding station.

The Kansas State Fair again will make waterless hand sanitizer available along the Midway and near animal exhibits.

Good hand-washing is the single most important way to prevent the disease transmission, Shideler reminds us.