At least nine people have fallen ill with E. coli infections after attending the Rice County Fair in Rice County, MN, according to the Faribault Daily News. Speaking to the Daily News, the fair manager said that five people have been hospitalized. The manager also said that the E. coli originated from an animal and not a food item. Investigators suspect it came from either the fair’s barn or the petting zoo. The fair had hand-washing stations available outside the petting zoo and barns, but not all visitors used them. A number of disease outbreaks have been linked to petting zoos in recent years. In 2012, the petting zoo at a county fair in North Carolina was linked to an E. coli outbreak that sickened 106 people and ended in the death of a 2-year-old boy. Parents are advised to carefully monitor their children when petting farm animals. Children should immediately wash their hands after visiting a petting zoo and should not be given the opportunity to put their hands or fingers in their mouths after touching animals.