Campylobacter outbreak

Campylobacter Image/CDC

Health officials in Wales are reporting on a Campylobacter outbreak linked to unpasteurized or ‘raw’ cow’s milk produced at Penlan y Môr Farm near New Quay.

Visitors to the Royal Welsh Show in Builth Wells may have sampled or bought the milk, which was available there on Wednesday 26 July.

Public Health Wales, Hywel Dda University Health Board, the Food Standards Agency, and Ceredigion County Council are investigating four cases of Campylobacter linked with milk from Penlan y Môr farm. The four cases all consumed or bought the milk at Aberystwyth Farmer’s Market after 1 June 2017.

Campylobacter is the most common bacterial cause of diarrhoea in Wales and the UK. Public Health Wales is notified of between 3,000 and 4,000 cases of Campylobacter every year in Wales.

Dr Brendan Mason, Consultant in Communicable Disease Control for Public Health Wales, said:

“If you have consumed Penlan y Môr unpasteurized milk any time since 1 June, including at the Royal Welsh Show on Wednesday 26 July, and you are experiencing symptoms of Campylobacter infection, we want to hear from you.

“The symptoms of Campylobacter are persistent nausea, diarrhea, stomach cramps and a fever. Sometimes vomiting and bloody diarrhea may also develop.

“It is a very unpleasant infection, and more serious complications can occur. As in any diarrheal illness, washing hands after using the toilet and before preparing or eating food is very important and anyone worried about their symptoms should seek medical advice.

“We will continue to monitor the situation.”

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In a follow-up on the measles outbreak in Gwent, an additional measles case has brought the total number of cases in the ongoing outbreak to 13.

The outbreak, affecting the Newport and Torfaen areas, has direct links to a large outbreak in Europe that has infected 14,000 people since the beginning of the year.

Measles is highly contagious, and Public Health Wales is warning parents across Wales that unvaccinated children are at risk.

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Dr Rhianwen Stiff, Consultant in Communicable Disease Control for Public Health Wales, said:

“When the MMR vaccine is safe, effective and easily available, it’s really disappointing to see outbreaks of measles, which is a serious and potentially fatal infection.

“The outbreak in Europe poses a real threat to children in Wales who are not vaccinated, both those travelling to the continent over the summer holidays and those who come into contact with visitors from other countries who have measles.

“In this outbreak, we’ve seen measles passed between strangers who spent very little time in the same place, which underlines how very contagious this infection can be.

“The message is simple – if you, or your child, is not up to date with two doses of the MMR vaccine, speak to your GP surgery immediately.”