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Thirteen test positive for college farm virus.

THIRTEEN people have now been tested positive for a serious virus after an outbreak at a college farm in Usk.

Public Health Wales, Torfaen County Borough Council and Monmouthshire County Council are continuing to investigate an outbreak of cryptosporidium associated with Coleg Gwent's farm.

Cryptosporidium is a parasite common in young farm animals which can easily be passed to people.

It causes watery diarrhoea, stomach pain, nausea and vomiting, and can last for up to a month. Healthy people will usually make a full recovery.

GPs in the Gwent area have been asked to be alert to possible cases of diarrhoea or vomiting.

A spokeswoman for Public Health Wales said: "The Outbreak Control Team is continuing to work with Coleg Gwent and 13 people have now tested positive for cryptosporidium and results are awaited for a number of others after they had regular attendance at the farm or contact with those who have."

A series of open day visits for primary school children were cancelled earlier this month following the outbreak. Public Health Wales is reminding people to thoroughly wash hands after coming into contact with farm animals, their bedding or equipment. A Public Health Wales spokeswoman added: "There is no reason for anyone to avoid visiting petting farms, as long as they ensure that anyone who has touched animals thoroughly washes their hands with hot water and soap afterwards and before eating.

"Hand sanitizers/alcohol gels should not be solely relied upon."

Cryptosporidium is acquired from other people, from animals and their faeces, from untreated drinking water contaminated by sewage, and from swimming in contaminated water.

People who are unwell with vomiting or diarrhoea should not return to work or school for 48 hours after their symptoms have stopped.

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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Apr 18, 2016
Words:290
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