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Palo Alto, CA
A 64-year-old male asked:

Children at san diego county fair fell ill with e.coli after petting animals there. how dangerous are petting zoos? how to tell if a petting zoo is safe?

2 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. James Ferguson
Pediatrics 47 years experience
You don't: E.coli is a family of germ strains that are present in the digestive system of all animals. A strain dangerous to humans may or may not be present in the system of & then contaminate the fur of any animal. Any attendance at such an event should avoid petting or have hand washing/sanitizing available after any such contact. Such situations are uncommon, but do occur & are hardly predictable.
Dr. Amrita Dosanjh
Dr. Amrita Dosanjhanswered
Pediatric Allergy and Asthma 37 years experience
It is best to wash hands and use sanitizer after contact with the animals. Children though may put their hands in mouths and this can lead to infection. Avoid eating at the petting zoo, and watch for signs of diarrhea, fever and vomting.

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Last updated Feb 17, 2022
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