Farm in Inkberrow closes due to virus outbreak - The Redditch Standard

Farm in Inkberrow closes due to virus outbreak

Redditch Editorial 20th Apr, 2024   0

A FARM in Inkberrow has taken the decision to close after a confirmed outbreak of a virus amongst visitors.

Health Protection specialists from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) West Midlands are working with Worcestershire County Council, Worcestershire Regulatory Services and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), following reports of people becoming unwell with diarrhoea and vomiting after visiting Gannow Farm.

A total of 16 visitors have confirmed Cryptosporidiosis, and others have reported sickness which may be consistent with Cryptosporidium infection.

The farm has taken the decision to close to the public for the remainder of 2024.

Dr Naveed Syed, consultant in health protection at UKHSA West Midlands, said: “We are investigating several reports of people being sick after visiting Gannow Farm over the Easter holidays.

“Samples from some affected individuals have gone off for analysis and Worcestershire Regulatory Services is also taking environmental samples from the farm.

“Visiting an open farm is a fun day out, particularly for children, but contact with farm animals carries a small risk of infection because of the bugs they carry.

“While the number of people who become ill is normally quite small, many cases could be avoided by practising good hand hygiene.

“It is important to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and hot water and dry them after touching animals or any surfaces that could be contaminated by animal poo and before eating, drinking, chewing gum or preparing food.

“If possible, people should clean shoes and pushchair wheels before leaving the farm and wash hands immediately after cleaning is complete.

“Hand sanitising gels will not kill crypto, so proper handwashing is essential when visiting an animal attraction or country park.”

Cryptosporidiosis is generally a mild infection caused by the bug cryptosporidium which is carried in the gut of many animals and is particularly common during the lambing season.

In most cases the symptoms of abdominal pain and diarrhoea go after a few days.

However, in some cases, cryptosporidiosis can be unpleasant with diarrhoea lasting for several weeks.


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