Fifty cases of Cryptosporidium have been found on a farm on an island off the south coast of England.
The South East Branch of the United Kingdom Health and Safety Agency (UKHSA) attempted to contact people who visited Hazel Grove Farm on the Isle of Wight in April and early May.
It is believed that people got sick after coming into contact with animals. The farm suspended animal contact activities in early May.
No ongoing risk
UKHSA Southeast health protection consultant Dr Anand Fernandez said there was no ongoing risk to the public associated with the farm.
“We have been working closely with the Isle of Wight Council, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the farm to take all appropriate public health measures to prevent further infections. We voluntarily stopped animal contact activities on May 1. Although symptoms of cryptosporidiosis can persist for more than two weeks in some people, there have been new infections directly attributable to farms since May 10. I don’t expect it to happen,” he said. .
Fernandez said many infections, including E. coli, salmonella and cryptosporidium, can occur when visiting farms or touching animals.
“Cryptosporidium, the central figure in this case, is a relatively common bug that is easily transmitted by touching animals, so after being near animals or in areas frequented by animals, avoid washing with soap and water.” It is recommended that you wash your hands thoroughly with hot water and dry them” and before preparing or eating food. This is especially important if you have symptoms yourself, as an infected person can infect others by touching surfaces or food. ”
People were advised not to go to school or work for 48 hours after their last illness and to avoid swimming pools for 14 days.
Cryptosporidium is a microscopic parasite that can cause cryptosporidiosis if ingested. Transmission occurs primarily through contact with contaminated water, but can also be acquired through food, exposure to infected animals, or water contaminated with faeces from infected animals. The risk of infection can be reduced by good hand hygiene.
The main symptom is watery diarrhea, which can range from mild to severe. It is often accompanied by abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, fever, and sometimes dehydration. Symptoms usually appear 2-10 days after infection and last 1-2 weeks.
E. coli and Cryptosporidium Incidents Related to APHA
Meanwhile, the Animal and Plant Health Administration (APHA) has released details of the outbreaks it covered from January to March.
During the first quarter of 2023, APHA continued its support for the Shiga-toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) O157 outbreak that began the previous quarter. His STEC O157 cases from the summer of 2022 and from previous incidents in October-November 2022 had identical whole genome sequences (WGS). They were all epidemiologically related to the same open farm.
In the fourth quarter of 2022, an APHA Veterinary Investigator visited the farm at the request of the Incident Management Team. Forty fresh environmental samples such as floors, fields, pens, and faeces from various animals were collected.
E. coli O157 was not detected in 39 samples, but suspected organisms cultured by APHA were present in 1 pig sample. This was followed by further investigation, including WGS analysis, which confirmed that the pig isolate was the same strain as the human case. All three pigs in the pen where the positive sample occurred were healthy and removed from the farm. The pen was cleaned and sanitized during that time, off-limits to the public.
The report advised that better supervision of contact with animals, enhanced hand-washing facilities and some improvements to animal exhibits could further reduce the risk to the public.
In March, APHA was part of an outbreak response team investigating a cryptosporidiosis incident linked to a milk vending machine. Details are not yet available as the investigation is ongoing.
Coxiella burneti was detected in 11 cattle bulk milk samples by PCR at an overseas laboratory, including 9 samples from British dairy farms and 2 samples from Welsh dairy farms. Reported to APHA.
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