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Published On: Tue, May 7th, 2013

UK: Adam Henson’s Cotswold Farm Park rebuffs claims farm is source of ‘crypto’ outbreak

The owners of Adam Henson’s Cotswold Farm Park are defending themselves concerning a cryptosporidium outbreak, which has been linked to the farm by several media outlets, saying there is no evidence to support the claim.

At least six people, including a farm staff member, were sickened by the protozoan parasite last month and the farm is currently the center of a Public Health England and the Health and Safety Executive outbreak investigation.

 

crypto

Cryptosporidium oocysts Photo/CDC

The Wilt and Gloucestershire Standard reports that Dr David Hunt, consultant for health protection in PHE Avon, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire said: “Most of the cases became unwell in April and appear to have visited the park in the Easter holidays. “The park has co-operated fully with the investigation and has put in place a number of extra measures ahead of the upcoming bank holiday to reduce the risk to future visitors.”

However, the Adam Henson’s Cotswold Farm Park responded to media who has linked the outbreak to the farm on their website:

Cotswold Farm Park demonstrates best practice with our animal contact and handwashing guidance and procedures.

 It’s been incorrectly reported in some media that cases of cryptosporidium have been linked with us.

 There is currently no scientific evidence to confirm that these alleged cases, which occurred over 4 weeks ago, are linked to Cotswold Farm Park. However, we do take public health very seriously so have been proactively liaising with the HSE (Health and Safety Executive) and the local Environmental Health department, to investigate a possibility that these cases may be linked.

 Following a site visit with a HSE inspector and an Environmental health officer it was agreed that Cotswold Farm Park follows best practice procedures in our animal contact areas and we have a proactive approach to educating and informing our staff and visitors of the importance of hand washing.

 We would like to reassure our visitors that we are fully compliant with the industry code of practice for avoiding ill health from farm visits and that there is no reason to avoid contact with animals as long as the correct hand washing procedures are followed.

 We this clarifies the situation but if you have any further concerns please do not hesitate to speak to a member of staff on your next visit.

Cryptosporidium is a protozoan parasite that causes an infection called cryptosporidiosis affecting people and cattle.

The most common symptom is watery diarrhea, which can range from mild to severe.

Although it’s most frequently seen in young children, cryptosporidium can affect anyone. People with weak immune systems are likely to be most seriously affected.

Cryptosporidium is found in soil, food, water, or surfaces that have been contaminated with infected human or animal feces. Transmission occurs through animal-to-human or human-to-human contact. Consuming contaminated water or food, swimming in contaminated water and children visiting petting zoos are common ways people contract the parasite.

It is typically a self-limiting illness in otherwise healthy individuals.

For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page

 

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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