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Wash your hands after touching farms animals at A&P Shows

November 13, 2012

Wash your hands after touching farms animals at A&P Shows

People attending A&P shows are being urged to wash their hands thoroughly after touching farm animals.

Dr Alistair Humphrey, Canterbury Medical Officer of Health, says serious diseases can be caught from farm animals.

“Farm animals may look harmless but if you don’t wash your hands thoroughly after touching them you can catch serious diseases,” Dr Humphrey says.

Is this the face of a killer?

The diseases that can be caught from touching young animals such as lambs include:
• Yersina
• Tetanus
• Cryptosporidium
• Salmonella
• VTEC (E.Coli 0157)
• Campylobacter
• Giardia
• Ringworm

“Children are most at risk as they are more difficult to get into the habit of washing their hands after touching farm animals and need to be reminded to wash their hands regularly,” Dr Humphrey says.

“This is a serious health issue. Last month a young Canterbury girl was being treated at Starship Hospital after contracting a strain of E. coli while feeding a lamb. Fortunately she is lucky to have made a full recovery thanks to the intensive care she received as early on in her illness her prognosis was bleak.”

He says well as washing your hands thoroughly after touching farm animals at an A & P show, good hand hygiene is just as important for those in contact with farm animals at their own home or on a farm.

Dr Humphrey is congratulating the organisers of the 2012 Canterbury A&P Show for having hand sanitiser available.

“The Canterbury A&P Show should be congratulated for taking this issue seriously and providing hand sanitiser. I hope the organisers of other A&P Show’s in our region take a lead from this great initiative,” Dr Humphrey says.

Community and Public Health, a division of the Canterbury DHB, has arranged for posters to be put up at the Canterbury A&P Show to draw attention to the importance of washing hands thoroughly after touching farm animals.

www.cdhb.govt.nz

ENDS

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