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Petting zoos are popular events at fairs and community events, but they also pose the risk of infection with germs like Salmonella and E. coli O157:H7. These infections are more easily picked up by small children under five because they often put unwashed hands in their mouths and because their immune systems aren’t as strong as in older children and adults. These infections can also cause more serious disease in small children, including kidney failure from E. coli. The risk of catching an infection can be decreased by keeping pacifiers, bottles, food items and strollers out of animal enclosures, and by careful hand washing or hand sanitizing after leaving the animal area.

Diseases from goats and livestock to humans