North Carolina state fair ecoliShantell Kirkendoll of the Flint Journal reports that on trips to Al-Mar Orchard, Kay Mattar of Flushing picks up organic apples and cider and if there’s time, 3-year-old son Calvin likes to say hello to Tilly the pig. But the increasing phenomenon of bacterial infection outbreaks from exposure to animals have led experts to produce guidelines for staying safe at petting zoos, county fairs and rodeos this summer.
Guidelines from the Centers of Disease Control urge handwashing, staying clear of animal enclosures and steering families to places like Al-Mar that have handwashing stations.
Experts say visitors to petting zoos must take safety into their own hands. What often happens is that a toddler will pet a sheep or goat, then stick his fingers in his mouth, as children often do.
No reported cases of animal-related bacterial infections have occurred in Genesee County, according to Dr. Gary Johnson, medical director of the Genesee County Health Department.