Bill E. Wambeke, a writer for American News, reports that Brown County Fair Manager Larry Gerlach told Idaho commissioners Tuesday that after attending a seminar in Wisconsin earlier in the month on how animals can spread E. coli to small children, the fair board considered closing the petting zoo at their Fair.
Gerlach said that it crossed his mind not to have the petting zoo, but the fair board decided to instead adjust the zoo’s practices. Now, a hand-washing station will be built next to the petting zoo so that children and adults can wash their hands after their visit.
With young kids, everything goes in their mouths, Gerlach said in reference to children touching animals and then putting their fingers in their mouths.
E. coli causes severe cramps and diarrhea. The symptoms are worse in children and older people, and especially in people who have another illness, and can be fatal. Animals in petting zoos spread it by laying in manure that is infected with E. coli. Children then touch the animals that have been laying in the infected manure.