Wash hands thoroughly after handling animals say Public Health England

Hands should be washed well with soap and water on farms

Children aged between 1 and 5 years old most at risk

2 million people visit farm attractions each year – and it is vital that hands are washed using soap and water according to a report on the Gov.uk website.

Public Health England (PHE) have reported annual rise in diarrhoeal illness says the article, which focuses on cryptosporidium – a parasite that can be found in soil, water, food or on any surface that has been contaminated with human or animal faeces.

Anybody can contract cryptosporidiosis says the article, “but it is most common in children aged between 1 and 5 years old”.

Professor Dilys Morgan, head of gastrointestinal diseases at PHE is reported as saying “Contact with farm animals brings risk of infection as the microorganisms – or germs – they carry are invisible to the naked eye.” 

Hand gels are simply not up to the task advises Professor Morgan:-

“People may be tempted to use hand gels and wipes during a farm visit and after touching animals, but although they remove visible dirt and contamination, they may not be effective in removing the germs found on farms. Hands should be washed well with soap and water, especially before consuming food and drinks.”

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