Certain venues encourage or permit the public to contact animals, resulting in millions of human-animal interactions each year. These settings include county or state fairs, petting zoos, animal swap meets, pet stores, zoologic institutions, circuses, carnivals, farm tours, livestock-birthing exhibits, educational exhibits at schools, and wildlife photo opportunities. Although multiple benefits of human-animal contact exist, infectious diseases, rabies exposures, injuries, and other human health problems associated with these settings are possible. Infectious disease outbreaks reported during the previous decade have been caused by Escherichia coli O157:H7, Salmonella, Cryptosporidium, Coxiella burnetii, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, ringworm, and other pathogens. Such incidents have substantial medical, public health, legal, and economic effects. This report provides recommendations for public health officials, veterinarians, animal venue staff, animal exhibitors, visitors to animal venues, physicians, and others concerned with minimizing risks associated with animals in public settings. The recommendation to wash hands is the single most important prevention step for reducing the risk for disease transmission. Other critical recommendations are that venues not allow food in animal areas, venues include transition areas between animal areas and nonanimal areas, visitors be educated about disease risk and prevention procedures, and animals be properly cared for and managed.
|Publication Title||Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report|
|Author Address||NASPHV Animal Contact Compendium Committee, University of Minnesota, Veterinary Public Health, 136F Andrew Boss, 1354 Eckles Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55108, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org|
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