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You are here: Home / Journal Articles / Observation of public health risk behaviors, risk communication and hand hygiene at Kansas and Missouri petting zoos – 2010-2011 / About

Observation of public health risk behaviors, risk communication and hand hygiene at Kansas and Missouri petting zoos – 2010-2011

By Gonzalo Erdozain, Katherine KuKanich, Benjamin Chapman, Douglas A. Powell

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Abstract

Outbreaks of human illness have been linked to visiting settings with animal contact throughout developed countries. This paper details an observational study of hand hygiene tool availability and recommendations; frequency of risky behavior; and, handwashing attempts by visitors in Kansas (9) and Missouri (4), U.S., petting zoos. Handwashing signs and hand hygiene stations were available at the exit of animal-contact areas in 10/13 and 8/13 petting zoos respectively. Risky behaviors were observed being performed at all petting zoos by at least one visitor. Frequently observed behaviors were: children (10/13 petting zoos) and adults (9/13 petting zoos) touching hands to face within animal-contact areas; animals licking children’s and adults’ hands (7/13 and 4/13 petting zoos, respectively); and children and adults drinking within animal-contact areas (5/13 petting zoos each). Of 574 visitors observed for hand hygiene when exiting animal-contact areas, 37% (n=214) of individuals attempted some type of hand hygiene, with male adults, female adults, and children attempting at similar rates (32%, 40%, and 37% respectively). Visitors were 4.8x more likely to wash their
hands when a staff member was present within or at the exit to the animal-contact
area (136/231, 59%) than when no staff member was present (78/343, 23%; p<0.001, OR=4.863, 95% C.I.=3.380-6.998). Visitors at zoos with a fence as a partial barrier to human-animal contact were 2.3x more likely to wash their hands (188/460, 40.9%) than visitors allowed to enter the animals’ yard for contact (26/114, 22.8%; p<0.001, OR=2.339, 95% CI=1.454-3.763). Inconsistencies existed in tool availability, signage, and supervision of animal-contact. Risk communication was poor, with few petting zoos outlining risks associated with animal-contact, or providing recommendations for precautions to be taken to reduce these risks.

Submitter

Katie Carroll

Date 2013
Publication Title Zoonoses and Public Health
Volume 60
Issue 4
Pages 7
Publisher Kansas State University
URL http://hdl.handle.net/2097/15881
Language English
Additional Language English
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Gonzalo Erdozain; Katherine KuKanich; Benjamin Chapman; Douglas A. Powell (2017), "Observation of public health risk behaviors, risk communication and hand hygiene at Kansas and Missouri petting zoos – 2010-2011," http://habricentral.org/resources/59596.

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Tags
  1. Animal roles
  2. Farm animals
  3. Food animals
  4. Handwashing
  5. Health
  6. human-animal contact
  7. Hygiene
  8. Mammals
  9. Pets and companion animals
  10. Petting zoos
  11. Public health
  12. risk
  13. Zoonoses
  14. Zoos