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We hear time and time again the dangers of visiting petting zoos especially when proper handwashing is neglected. This time it occurred in St. Louis at a petting zoo called Grant’s Farm. Here is everything you need to know about the Grant’s Farm Ecoli Outbreak:
According to KMOV4, the Missouri Department of Health and Human services along with two other agencies are investigating after they say five people became sick after visiting Grant’s Farm. All of the illnesses have taken place since late May. Authorities say five people have come down with a Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) in this Grant’s Farm Ecoli Outbreak.
Symptoms include: stomach cramps, diarrhea (sometimes bloody), and vomiting. Health officials say an infected person usually shows symptoms 2-10 days after exposure. Most people get better within 5-7 days. But that may not always be the case. This is why urgent medical attention is recommended if you believe that you or someone you love has become sick after exposure at Grant’s Farm.
Officials warn that 5-10 percent of those infected can develop a severe kidney condition that requires hospitalization and can be fatal.
Health officials say it is important that visitors to Grant’s Farm wash their hands after coming in contact with the animals. It is also a good idea to change your clothes to avoid cross-contamination.
According the local health agents, specimens will be collected from the animals at Grant’s Farm by investigators and that the animals will be monitored closely to supervise their health.
The property was at one time owned by Ulysses S. Grant and prior to that, by the Dent family. It is now owned by the Busch family, who owned the Anheuser-Busch Brewing Company for many years until it was sold to InBev in 2008. The farm is home to animals such as buffalo, elephants, camels, kangaroos, donkeys, goats, peacocks, the iconic Budweiser Clydesdales, and many more. Most of these animals can be seen by visitors on a tram tour of the deer park region of the park, while the Clydesdales are found in their nearby barn and pastures. The farm also contains a cabin called “Hardscrabble,” which was built by Ulysses S. Grant in 1856 on another part of the property and later relocated to Grant’s Farm. It is the only remaining structure that was hand-built by a U.S. president prior to assuming office.
“At Grant’s Farm, the safety of our patrons, our employees, and our animal population is our highest priority. We are working closely with the state Dept. of Health and taking all necessary precautions to ensure we provide a safe and enjoyable environment for our visitors.
We have a team of veterinary experts that work diligently to ensure our animals are healthy. Out of an abundance of caution, we will also be taking further safety measures, including the addition of several more hand-washing/antibacterial stations, and increased signage to remind our visitors of the importance of proper hygiene after coming into contact with the animals.
We will continue to follow the guidance of the public health experts that are managing this issue, and will defer to the Department of Health on any additional next steps”
While the CDC doesn’t warn us to stay away from petting zoos as they can be really educational and fun places, especially for children we are given some advisories on things we should do to stay safe while visiting.
Animal encounters, such as: touching or petting, feeding, and holding animals are becoming more popular, especially at zoos and aquariums. An animal exhibit can be anything from a large zoo to a livestock show at the county fair. You might also encounter animals at schools, as part of local festivals, or just out and about. Wherever you are, it’s important to know ways to stay healthy while enjoying animals.
Protect yourself and your family
Keep food and animals separate
Keep children safe around animals
For Exhibit Owners:
Even healthy animals can carry germs that might make visitors sick. When designing an exhibit, you want to protect your animals and your visitors, while preserving the fun and education.
Design exhibits in ways that will help to prevent the spread of disease:
The Lange Law Firm
Our mission is to help families who have been harmed by petting zoos and farms. When corporations cause food poisoning or Legionnaires’ disease outbreaks or when petting zoos cause outbreaks, we use the law to hold them accountable. The Lange Law Firm, PLLC is the only law firm in the nation solely focused on representing families in food poisoning lawsuits and Legionnaires disease lawsuits.
If you or your child was infected with Ecoli after attending a petting zoo and are interested in making a legal claim for compensation, we have an Ecoli attorney ready to help you. Call us for a free no obligation legal consultation at (833) 330-3663 or send us an e-mail here.
By: Samantha Cooper, Contributing Writer (Non-Lawyer)