Oct 11, 2015 10:59 AM
ROCHESTER - Petting zoos remain a popular attraction for the families of young children, but news out of Maine has raised concerns for some families in the Granite State.
Both the Sandwich Fair in Center Sandwich and Rochester's October Fest this weekend featured petting zoos that allowed kids to interact with and touch some of the animals.
But in Maine, public health authorities confirmed that one child died and another was hospitalized after they both showed symptoms associated with exposure to E.Coli bacteria. Both the children had attended Maine's Oxford County Fair last month, and both had identical strains of the bacteria in their systems.
Yvonne Manning was at the Rochester event on Saturday and said her family is not taking any chances.
"My daughter is pregnant and she is NOT going near the animals... she's staying a ways back," Manning said.
"We're absolutely making sure that our babies don't put anything in their mouths including their fingers, and we are washing their hands with the antibacterial soap. It probably is because of the petting zoo, and I know that they're checking the animals. But young children do have a tendency to put things in their mouths," she said.
Other fair-goers enjoyed the chance to interact with the petting zoo animals but made liberal use of nearby hand sanitizer afterward.
No other cases have been reported involving children who were at the Oxford Fair. The federal Centers for Disease Control are testing debris from the Fair to determine for sure if that is where the children contracted E.Coli. The results should be released to the public by next week.
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