Animals Quarantined After Illnesses Reported At Petting Zoo
Several farm animals from a Middletown, RI farm have been quarantined after three people got sick by coming in contact with them.
The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management report that two adults and one child developed cryptosporidiosis after having contact with goats at Simmons Farm on West Main Road last month.
Simmons Farm runs a petting zoo as well as a farm stand and both have been voluntarily closed.
The farm took to their Facebook page on Sunday to announce the petting zoo would be closed, then offered a longer explanatory post earlier today to address the issue.
Rhode Island health officials says,
Cryptosporidiosis lives in the gut of infected humans or animals. It is spread through contact with the feces of an infected person or animal, typically when people touch their mouths with contaminated hands
Symptoms include diarrhea with abdominal pain and cramping.
DEM has put a quarantine on the farm to prevent further spreading of the disease and anyone who has been to Simmons Farm for their "pet and cuddle" events March 25th and 31st should monitor themselves for signs of cryptosporidiosis.
For anyone planning to visit any petting zoo, RIDOH does have safety tips to keep yourself healthy after contact with farm animals.
- Wash your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds after contacting livestock, before preparing or eating food, after using the toilet, or after changing diapers
- Avoid allowing clothing to be contaminated with feces, and wash any clothing that is contaminated. (People’s clothing is often contaminated when they pick up goats whose hooves have fecal matter on them.)
- Make sure that only healthy animals are in contact with the public
- Keep animals in sanitary environments
- Make hand-washing stations available for patrons
- Avoid eating in areas where animals are kept