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Chapter 17 : Perils of the Petting Zoo

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Abstract:

There are many considerations in evaluating perils associated with the wide range of venues where animal contact can occur. First, many venues or events draw large numbers of people; some operate during a short time frame, while others, such as zoos and aquariums, operate year-round. Second, petting zoos and other animal contact venues are particularly popular with children, who are likely to have less stringent hygiene and are more susceptible to severe disease outcomes. Finally, there is remarkable variability in the physical layout of venues that permit animal contact and in the types of animals that may be contacted. Perils of animal contact include allergies, injury, and zoonotic disease transmission. Potential zoonotic pathogens in petting zoo venues are discussed in this chapter. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) first published recommendations to reduce perils associated with petting zoos following an outbreak of human O157 infections associated with animal contact in 2000. The petting zoo associated with the outbreak was one of many exhibits where the public could contact animals. Hand washing is the single most important preventive measure to minimize infectious disease perils of the petting zoo. One practical tip is to educate the public to recognize zoonotic disease perils of the petting zoo.

Citation: Dunn J, Angulo F. 2009. Perils of the Petting Zoo, p 367-376. In Schlossberg D (ed), Infections of Leisure, Fourth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815950.ch17

Key Concept Ranking

Infectious Diseases
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Animal Infectious Diseases
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Zoonotic Diseases
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Respiratory Diseases
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Q fever
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Pulsed-Field Gel Electrophoresis
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Figures

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FIGURE 1

Number of reported outbreaks of enteric disease associated with animals in public settings in the United States, by year, from 1991 to 2005. (Reprinted from reference [© 2006 by the Infectious Diseases Society of America], with permission of the publisher.)

Citation: Dunn J, Angulo F. 2009. Perils of the Petting Zoo, p 367-376. In Schlossberg D (ed), Infections of Leisure, Fourth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815950.ch17
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Image of FIGURE 2
FIGURE 2

Close contact with animals, animal feces, and animal bedding led to a large O157:H7 outbreak at the 2004 North Carolina State Fair. (Photos reproduced with the permission of the North Carolina Division of Public Health.)

Citation: Dunn J, Angulo F. 2009. Perils of the Petting Zoo, p 367-376. In Schlossberg D (ed), Infections of Leisure, Fourth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815950.ch17
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References

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Tables

Generic image for table
TABLE 1

Selected zoonotic pathogens in petting zoo and animal contact venues

Citation: Dunn J, Angulo F. 2009. Perils of the Petting Zoo, p 367-376. In Schlossberg D (ed), Infections of Leisure, Fourth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815950.ch17

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