Vancouver Petting Zoo Linked to 13 E. Coli Cases

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Sept. 16 (UPI) — Canadian health officials in Vancouver say a children’s petting zoo is the suspected source of an E. coli bacteria outbreak among 13 people.

The zoo was part of the annual Pacific National Exhibition, which ran from Aug. 22 to Sept. 7, the Vancouver Sun reported Wednesday.

Health officials said 11 children as young as 21 months and two adults as old as 69 were sickened by the bacteria and one of the children was still hospitalized in fair condition, the Globe and Mail reported.

Those infected can experience diarrhea, urinary tract infections, respiratory illness and pneumonia, the Sun said. It is easily spread by eating undercooked meat or contact with human or animal fecal matter. It can be prevented by hand washing, health officials said.

PNE spokeswoman Laura Ballance told the Sun said the building that houses the petting zoo with sheep, goats, horses and a donkey has 18 hand-washing stations with hot running water and hand sanitizing liquid. She told the Globe the outbreak is the first for the annual summer exhibition since it began in 1910.

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

Categorized | Animals, Other, People
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