SAN DIEGO — A new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report finds
that the first documented transmission of a staph infection from a zoo animal
to a human caretaker occurred last year at the Wild Animal Park.
The federal agency released its report Thursday, saying a baby elephant at
the North County attraction contracted a deadly staph infection from a keeper,
then passed it on to four other keepers.
The female calf was less than 10 weeks old when she was euthanized on Feb.
4, 2008. All five of the ill keepers recovered, according to the report.
"The animal source is not something we usually see," CDC spokeswoman
Abbigail Tumpey said in remarks reported by The San Diego Union-Tribune. "This
is something that would be of interest to veterinary personnel and others who have
direct contact with animals."
Since the outbreak, park officials have stepped up their efforts to get
workers who have contact with animals to wash their hands often, wear protective
clothing and keep cages clean, Dr. Donald Janssen, a Wild Animal Park
veterinarian, told the Union-Tribune.
For the cats,
Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue
an Educational Sanctuary home
to more than 100 big cats
12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL 33625
813.493.4564 fax 885.4457
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