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11th Apr 2024

Petting zoo causes major Cryptosporidium outbreak

Kat O'Connor

Multiple children in England contracted a bug after the petting zoo trip

A warning has been issued to parents after multiple children fell ill after visiting a petting zoo in Worcestershire.

As fun as it is for children, visiting this petting zoo resulted in an illness outbreak.

Gannow Farm in Worcestershire believes it is the source of an outbreak of a sickness bug.

They confirmed on Facebook that they’re the probable source of a bug called cryptosporidium. It is believed several people fell ill after visiting the farm.

In a statement on Facebook, the farm said: “It seems highly likely that we are the probable source of a bug called Cryptosporidium which has made a number of our visitors ill with sickness and diarrhoea.

​”We are deeply saddened to hear that anyone has become unwell since visiting the farm as we have made every precaution possible to prevent this, we hope that anyone who is poorly gets well soon.”

​The farm was informed that there was an increase in norovirus cases within families.

“We believe we may of encouraged the spread of infection by the amount of people on the farm.”

Environmental Health informed the farm that a diagnosis has been made for Cryptosporidium.

They are now investigating what the root cause of the illness is.

How is cryptosporidium spread?

You can only get cryptosporidiosis directly from another person or animal by touching faeces like when petting a lamb.

You will become infected if you put your hands near or in your mouth without washing them thoroughly.

Thankfully, the bug usually clears up within a few days.

However, those infected have been told to stay hydrated. They should contact health officials if their symptoms worsen.

Health experts said: “They should stay off nursery, school, and work for 48 hours and away from swimming pools for 14 days after the last episode of illness to avoid spreading the illness to others.”

Anyone who is planning on visiting a petting farm should always wash their hands thoroughly with soap and hot water.