- The Washington Times - Monday, February 29, 2016

The National Zoo has closed and quarantined its Kids’ Farm because E. coli was discovered in a few of the animals.

“At this time, no staff have been affected and no animals are showing any signs of disease,” National Zoo officials said Monday in a statement. “While E. coli exists all around us, and even in us, some types of E. coli are pathogenic, meaning they can cause illness.”

Zoo veterinarians detected the bacteria in the goats through a routine fecal screening on Feb. 18. The goats were moved and managed separately from other animals and visitors.

The zoo performed individual fecal cultures, and the results revealed Friday that four goats and one cow were positive for E. coli.

“Based on these results, the Kids’ Farm was immediately quarantined, and staff started appropriate protective measures, including treating all the farm animals with antibiotics,” the statement reads.

Currently, the animal care team at the zoo is consulting with experts from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and the D.C. Department of Health.

Most types of E. coli do not cause illness, but some strains can affect the digestive system, causing stomach pains and diarrhea.

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