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NEWS: E. coli Outbreak May Be Linked To Petting Zoo

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posted on Apr, 4 2005 @ 12:46 AM
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Florida has been hit with an outbreak of E. coli that has made at least 22 people sick. The outbreak appears to be linked to Petting Zoos. Almost all of those who have fallen ill are small children who have visited fairs in Florida over the past two months. The virus could be spread by touching the animals and then eating food without washing their hands. Due to the outbreak many schools have canceled field trips to petting zoos.
 



abcnews.go.com
ORLANDO, Fla. Apr 3, 2005 — Shannon Smowton's trip to the fair should have ended with happy memories of carnival rides and cute farm animals. Instead, the 5-year-old is clinging to life, her kidneys under attack from the E. coli infection she apparently caught at the fair. Shannon is among at least 22 people, almost all children, who fell seriously ill after visiting one of three fairs in Florida in the past two months.

State health officials are investigating 35 more cases.

At the Central Florida Fair in Orlando, the Florida Strawberry Festival in Plant City and the Florida State Fair in Tampa, the victims may have had different things to eat and drink, but almost all of them touched the chicks, sheep, goats and calves in the petting zoos.

According to the experts, people who visit petting zoos must take safety into their own hands literally. What often happens is that a toddler will pet a sheep or goat, then stick his fingers in his mouth, as children often do.


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


E. coli has most often seen spread due to uncooked meat. In 1993 there was a large outbreak that was spread by Jack in the Box restaurants. Victims of the tainted burgers eventually received 15.6 Million dollars.

In this case the bacteria would be spread through animal feces. In a petting zoo the children are petting animals who may have contact with fecal matter. The children can then eat food without washing first and intake the bacteria that way.

E. coli can be lethal with children because they are so small that they can't handle the blood and fluid loss. In the 1993 outbreak four children died after they ate contaminated food.
Hopefully all these kids who are sick this time pull through.

Related News Links:
www.kntimes.com
www.newsday.com
www.nytimes.com




posted on Apr, 4 2005 @ 08:42 AM
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E. coli used to need to be ingested to cause infection - but apparently, new strains spread in the air. ...Reports about this were made last year after an outbreak in Saskatchewan (Canada). I don't have time now to search it - but someone else might check it out.



posted on Apr, 4 2005 @ 02:45 PM
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Originally posted by soficrow
E. coli used to need to be ingested to cause infection - but apparently, new strains spread in the air. ...Reports about this were made last year after an outbreak in Saskatchewan (Canada). I don't have time now to search it - but someone else might check it out.


No it does not spread in the air. If you had a liquid that had a billion E. coli cells in it and you purposefully aerosolized it, sure, it would be in the air. Since E. coli is killed by sunlight in about 20 seconds, this wouldn't really matter. Since tiny droplets have a tendency to desiccate in air and sunlight quickly, again, E. coli gets killed. Since E. coli cannot make spores, it cannot really be carried in the air very far, nor spread via air successfully, nor survive environmental exposure. It is an obligate gut bacteria that has the ability to survive in liquid outside of an animal for quite a while, but not air. It does not have the potential to mutate to form spores and direct selection on dessicattion or UV resistance would require thousands of generations to get a cell that could survive air AND infect someone. It would be a tricky business to select for that and I'm not sure you can.



posted on Apr, 5 2005 @ 09:11 AM
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Originally posted by rg73

Originally posted by soficrow
E. coli used to need to be ingested to cause infection - but apparently, new strains spread in the air. ...Reports about this were made last year after an outbreak in Saskatchewan (Canada). I don't have time now to search it - but someone else might check it out.


No it does not spread in the air.



There was an E. coli outbreak in Saskatchewan last year and yes, scientists determined that it was airborne. ...Another interesting new mutation is rabies - which no longer requires direct physical contact with an infected animal, or even proximity - rabies now appears to 'stick' to surfaces and stay alive for a significant period of time.

...Also see www.abovetopsecret.com...

Posts titled "Beyond FMD: Super Bugs and Super Flu" and "A brief history of alerts and warnings from scientists about some of the emerging epidemics."


...There are a lot of science graduates here who have not kept up to date. ...Something changed radically between 2 and 5 years ago - it was predicted, and appears to have something to do with misfolded proteins. Point being, the rules of science have changed, and it's a new ballgame.

.

[edit on 5-4-2005 by soficrow]



posted on Apr, 12 2005 @ 08:09 PM
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More on new mutations/strains of old diseases:


Community-Acquired MRSA on the Upswing; Linked to Necrotizing Fasciitis

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) Apr 06 - Infections with community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) are becoming more prevalent in cities across the US, according to reports in The New England Journal of Medicine for April 7th. The infection is even being associated with necrotizing fasciitis.

....These reports "clearly [represent] an epidemic of MRSA in the community," Dr. Henry F. Chambers, from the University of California-San Francisco, states in a related editorial.

"Clinical trials will be sorely needed to determine the precise role of antimicrobial agents in the treatment of uncomplicated skin and soft-tissue infections and to identify which agents are most clinically effective and cost-effective," he adds.




Note: MRSA used to be linked only with hospitalization - now it's in the community, including the form that causes 'flesh-eating' disease.



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