It’s “necessary to prevent stomach bugs” says medical consultant
Public health experts are taking immediate steps to contain an E. coli O157 outbreak which has occurred at an historic farm visitor attraction in Shropshire, according to a recent report on the Ludlow Advertiser website.
Public Health England West Midlands Health Protection Team (PHEWM) has been working in tandem with environmental health specialists from Shropshire Council. They began work after two confirmed cases were associated with the Acton Scott Historic Working Farm, which is located near Craven Arms.
The farm is managed by the Council, says the article.
Focus on soap and water washing – not sanitisers
The report quotes PHEWM consultant Dr Adrian Phillips who observed that, although the farm has a number of multiple hand sanitiser points across the facility, they would be of little use when it comes to keeping E. coli at bay. He emphasised that handwashing alone would be effective.
“…if people have been touching things which could be infected with E. coli, including touching farm animals, handwashing with warm water and soap is necessary to prevent stomach bugs.”
Dr Phillips observed that holiday periods usually coincide with and increase in gastro-intestinal infections “which are often associated with a range of activities including farm or park visits, where infections can be picked up by handling or stroking animals.”
“Good hand hygiene for all, and supervised hand hygiene for small children, is essential to minimise the risk of developing a stomach bug.”
Future improvements at the farm will reportedly include more hand washing facilities for visitors and more comprehensive safety information around touching animals.
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