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Having fun around animals safely this summer

Published: Jul. 15, 2021 at 12:37 PM CDT
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MINOT, N.D. – Every year North Dakota sees a spike in zoonotic diseases in the summer months. Those are diseases that can transmit between humans and animals.

The Roosevelt Park Zoo takes several precautions to ensure the visitors and the animals in their care have a healthy and fun time.

“For the vast majority, all of our animals are vaccinated for anything that humans may get from these animals,” said Logan Wood, a Veterinarian at the Roosevelt Park Zoo.

The North Dakota Department of Health released some guidelines for people to follow at county fairs, petting zoos and really any other place that people and animals cross paths.

”Don’t let kids allow those animals to get close to their mouth. Make sure the children are washing their hands really well after being around animals,” said Epidemiologist Laura Cronquist.

The main point they wanted to emphasize was cleaning your hands, which the zoo encourages you to do between petting or feeding the animals.

”We encourage you to make these bonds with these animals and to get to know these animals by touching them and feeding them and everything else you get to form that bond a little bit better,” said Wood.

They also practice preventative medicine and run fecal checks to know if an animal gets sick, so they can take further precautions.

On the list of zoonotic diseases we received numbers for, campylobacteriosis had the most infections in a month in 2020 with 30 cases in June.

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