Cryptosporidium Outbreak At Welsh Educational Farm

Exposure to Serious Gastrointestinal Condition Can Cause Long-Term Complications

31.03.2016

Oliver Wicks, Press Officer | 0114 274 4649

Leading public health lawyers have called for a thorough investigation after three people tested positive for cryptosporidium after a visit to Coleg Gwent educational farm in Usk. 

Eight other visitors are also being checked for symptoms with all confirmed cases linked to having direct contact with the lambs at the college farm. 

Cryptosporidium can cause gastroenteritis and is commonly associated with diarrhoea, abdominal cramps and in some cases vomiting, fever and nausea.

The site has been closed and investigation into the outbreak of the disease is underway by Public Health Wales, Torfaen County Borough Council and Monmouthshire County Council. 

GPs in Gwent have been put on alert after the three confirmed cases and Public Health Wales consultant Heather Lewis, confirmed that: “As part of our investigations, we are checking on all those whom we believe had contact with young farm animals." 

Jatinder Paul, a specialist Public Health lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, who has represented hundreds of people who have suffer gastric illnesses as a result of exposure to Cryptosporidium, knows how serious the illness can be. 

Expert Opinion
”The discovery of Cryptosporidium is always concerning and it’s positive to see that an investigation has already begun.

“Cryptosporidium is a very common disease in young farm animals but it’s not up to the visitors to consider if they may catch an illness like this at an educational farm.

"The focus must now be on protecting the general public by ensuring all the necessary tests take place and important safety questions are answered as quickly as possible.

“There needs to be a clear understanding as to why this has happened and reassurances made to prevent the same thing happening again.

“Cryptosporidium can have serious health implications for those affected and in our work we have seen first-hand the long-term issues that it can cause, from which some victims may never fully recover.”
Jatinder Paul, Associate