Report details zookeeper-elephant infection

March 6, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
A new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report is shedding more light into how a deadly staph infection was transferred from a zookeeper to a baby elephant at the San Diego Wild Animal Park.The incident happened last year and infected at least 20 workers. The female calf was euthanized as a result.

The report shows that a zookeeper who was hand-feeding the female baby elephant, infected the elephant, and she then spread the infection to other handlers.

The deadly bacteria is spread through skin to skin contact.

None of handlers suffered serious skin infections.

The CDC says the best way to avoid getting infected is to practice proper hand hygiene and protect yourself from skin lesions.

This is the first time a zoo elephant has been infected with MRSA and the first known transmission of the superbug from zoo animals to humans.