Objective - To evaluate risk behaviors for transmission of zoonotic diseases at petting zoos during a period without a recognized disease outbreak. Design - Observational survey with environmental microbiologic sampling. Sample Population - 6 petting zoos in Tennessee. Procedures - Attendees were observed for animal and environmental contact, eating or drinking, hand-to-face contact, and use of a hand sanltizer. Hands were examined via bacteriologic culture on some attendees. Environmental samples were collected at 3 petting zoos. Results - 991 attendees were observed; of these, 74% had direct contact with animals, 87% had contact with potentially contaminated surfaces in animal contact areas, 49% had hand-to-face contact, and 22% ate or drank In animal contact areas. Thirty-eight percent used hand sanltizer; children had better compliance than adults. Results of bacteriologic cultures of hands were negative for Salmonella spp and Escherichia coli O157; Salmonella spp were isolated from 63% and E coli O157 from 6% of environmental samples. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance - High-risk behaviors were common among petting zoo visitors, and disease prevention guidelines were inconsistently followed. This Is an example of the importance of one-medicine, one-health initiatives in protecting the public health. Veterinarians, venue operators, and public health authorities must work together on targeted education to improve implementation of existing disease prevention guidelines.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||3|
|Journal||Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association|
|Publication status||Published - Oct 1 2007|
ASJC Scopus subject areas