PHE South West is urging people in the region to take some simple steps to avoid illness this Easter.
At this time of the year, we know that petting farms and swimming pools are popular attractions, and to help avoid unnecessary illness we want to remind everyone to take some simple steps to enjoy a bug free Easter.
Petting farm advice
Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after you have touched animals, fences or other surfaces in animal areas. Do not use gels or wipes, they do not remove the germs found on farms
Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before eating or drinking
Remove and clean shoes that might have become soiled and clean pushchair wheels and then wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water
Avoid putting hands on faces or fingers in mouths while petting animals or walking round the farm
Do not allow children to kiss farm animals or put their face close to animals.
Do not swim if you have had symptoms of diarrhoea and/or vomiting in the last two weeks
Always shower before entering and after leaving the swimming pool.
Pete Smith, Lead Health Protection Practitioner for PHE South West said:
“Thousands of people in the South West will visit a petting farm or swimming pool this weekend and the number of people who become ill is proportionally very small. However, many cases of illness could be avoided by practicing good hand hygiene and avoiding attractions if you are ill.
“We know that many animals can carry parasites and germs that affect young children such as E.coli O157 or cryptosporidium and evidence shows those cases can peak in the spring.
“People may be tempted to use hand gels and wipes during a farm visit and after touching animals, but although they remove visible dirt and contamination, they may not be effective in removing the germs found on farms.
“Washing hands thoroughly with warm water and soap is the most effective way to remove these germs.
“We would also advise anyone suffering with a diarrhoeal illness not to swim for two weeks after their symptoms have stopped and, as always, it is important to shower immediately before entering and after leaving the swimming pool.”
“By following our advice, we hope families in the region can avoid illness and enjoy a fun Easter weekend”Follow