Children must be taught to wash their hands properly with soap and water
As many as fifty cases of Cryptosporidium have been traced back to a 40 acre farm on the Isle of Wight, which offers petting activities for children, such as the bottle feeding of goat kids and lambs. Those activities were temporarily halted at the beginning of the month, according to a recent report on the Food Safety News website.
The article revealed that the South East branch of the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) had striven to make contact with visitors to the farm.
“People are thought to have become sick after coming into contact with animals” says the report.
Fortunately there is no ongoing risk to the public, according to the UKHSA South East’s health protection consultant Dr. Anand Fernandes.
The importance of hand washing with soap and water
Dr Fernandes emphasised the importance of effective hand hygiene.
“Cryptosporidium, which is central to this incident, is a relatively common bug that can be easily caught from touching animals, so we recommend people wash their hands thoroughly with soap and hot water and dry them after being near animals or in areas frequented by animals and before preparing or eating food.”
Anyone displaying symptoms should also wash diligently in order to help minimise the spread, he added.
Dr Fernandes went on to emphasise that hand washing with soap and water is also essential in order to reduce the risk of contracting a number of other unpleasant illnesses “that can be associated with visiting farms and touching animals”.
Examples given were E. coli and Salmonella as well as Cryptosporidium.
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