So my problem with the deer pavilion at Marineland and now other places where kids can interact with deer is this (and keep in mind, children are touching deer and who knows what else, and have a tendency to put their hands in their mouths before you have a chance to wash them). Problem is, that at Marineland you are surrounded by deer, their urine and poop. And what I learned about them this past weekend, sometimes their blood. Their blood can spray or drop on you from their antlers while shedding their velvet. Personally, when a deer is in the process of shedding their velvet, they should be out of the public view. As their blood, can be as dangerous to humans as their urine and poop. I don’t want my child around that. http://youtu.be/BI9ezjPwIzM
TOP 10 DISEASE PEOPLE CAN GET FROM DEER:
1. E. coli O157:H7 – from the feces
2. Leptospirosis – from the urine – can be transmitted through cuts including hang nails – Vaccination produces serological responses, but its effectiveness in protecting against disease, and prevention or reduction of shedding in urine, has not yet been confirmed in deer (2007)
3. Lyme disease via ticks – an increasing concern – unless the deer are getting tick preventives there is no way this is not a risk – ticks fall off birds so it is a constant concern.
4. human babesiosis – from deer tick
5. human granulocytic ehrlichiosis – from deer tick
6. Mycobacterium bovis (tuberculosis) infection can occur from direct contact with a wound on an animal or by inhaling the bacteria in air exhaled by animals infected with M. bovis
7. Tularemia (Francisella tularensis bacteria) – potentially fatal – spread to people from deer by deerflies and other insects (incl ticks and fleas) or exposure of skin or mucous membranes (eyes, nose and mouth) with deer blood or inhaling dust from contaminated soil
8. Deer Parapoxvirus – causes scabby, crusty lesions on the muzzle, lips, face, ears, neck and antlers of affected deer – There have been two confirmed cases of deer parapoxvirus infection in humans in the U.S.. Both patients had nicked their fingers while dressing the deer carcasses and later developed pox lesions (scabby crusts) on their hands – Both reported that the deer had not shown any signs of illness at the time they were dressed.
9. Cryptosporidia from ingesting deer feces
10. Giardia from ingesting deer feces.
Next time you go to a petting zoo, or Marineland (even though I strongly advise against either), keep a close eye on yourself and especially your children and remember what type of health risks there are.