Petting Farm Hygiene Reminder Backed By Illness Experts

Concerns Raised Over Recent Cases Of Cryptosporidiosis

26.06.2013

By Rob Dixon

Illness lawyers who represent victims of illness outbreaks traced back to petting farms have welcomed fresh calls from Public Health England (PHE) for anyone heading to such sites in the coming months to practise good hand hygiene.

The health body confirmed there were 12 outbreaks of the gastric illness cryptosporidiosis, commonly linked to petting farms, between January and May this year. It is thought around 130 people were affected by the problems.

According to PHE, an average of around 80 cases of the infection, which is commonly transmitted either by touching animals or coming contact with droppings and contaminated surfaces, are linked to petting farm visits every year.

Irwin Mitchell’s specialist illness team act for numerous victims of outbreaks of cryptosporidiosis both in the UK and abroad, including people of all ages who have suffered serious health problems as a result of such problems.

Elizabeth Tetzner, a legal specialist based at the national law firm’s Birmingham office with expertise in such cases, said: “With sunnier days finally emerging in the UK, it is likely that many families will be looking to enjoy the outdoors with trips to attractions including petting farms.

“However, the figures published for the first half of this year are clearly a massive concern and we would urge parents to ensure they always supervise youngsters in such locations, as well as ensuring that good hand hygiene is observed by all.

“Through our work on numerous outbreaks, we have seen how people’s lives can be turned upside down by serious illness. In many of our cases, victims have gone on to develop long-term problems as a result of contracting infections such as cryptosporidiosis.

“The seriousness of this issue should not be underestimated and it is vital that visitors to petting farms, as well as owners themselves, take steps to mitigate any potential risks.”

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