The "World of Animal Life" exhibit in Devon, England, has closed as health officials investigate links to three more people with E. coli O157:H7 infections. According to a BBC report:
In a statement, the Health Protection Agency said: "East Devon District Council and the Health Protection Agency this afternoon advised the precautionary closure of the World of Country Life farm, Exmouth, acting on information that potentially linked the farm with three individuals with confirmed E.coli O157 infection.
The exhibit is the fourth to shut in recent days. As reported on this blog, 49 cases of E. coli O157:H7 have been linked to the Godstone Farm in Surrey. A related farm shut over hygiene concerns. The fourth farm was closed pending an investigation of an apparently unrelated cluster of illnesses.
Outbreaks of E. coli O157:H7 at petting zoos are far from a new phenomenon. More than two dozen outbreaks of illness from various pathogens have been linked to animal exhibits in the U.S. and U.K. For more information see www.fair-safety.com