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Stark Appleby Horse Fair health warning as visitors warned about E.coli

The Appleby Horse Fair is now underway and thousands of travellers have made their way to the event.

But, organisers are warning those who have made their way, and those on their way, to be careful of poo loving bacteria that can make people very ill. Escherichia coli, commonly known as E. coli are a group of different bacteria that are usually harmless but some of their strains, like Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) can make one very sick.

If once contracts STEC they can develop abdominal cramps and diarrhoea that may in some cases progress to bloody diarrhoea (haemorrhagic colitis). Fever and vomiting may also occur.

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E. coli is transmitted to humans primarily through consumption of contaminated foods, such as raw or undercooked ground meat products and raw milk. Faecal contamination of water and other foods, as well as cross-contamination during food preparation will also lead to infection

Organisers of the show have told attendees to call 111 if they develop symptoms. A spokesperson for Appleby Horsefair said: ” With the Fair underway, everyone attending needs to be aware of the risks of E.coli infection. E.coli doesn’t always cause problems, but some strains can make people ill and even kill.

“A person can become infected from contact with animals carrying the bacteria or by eating/drinking anything contaminated by faeces from infected animals. This can often happen on farms and places with animals which are open to the public.”

How to avoid E. coli at Appleby Fair

To avoid infection:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after going to the toilet, and before and after handling food.
  • Hand washing in young children should be supervised, especially after handling animals or their surroundings.
  • Anyone with diarrhoea and vomiting should stay away from others wherever possible until they have been free of symptoms for 48 hours

If you or your child become ill with symptoms, call NHS 111. It usually takes between 2 and 4 days from being infected with E.coli to develop symptoms, which can include, mild diarrhoea, stomach pain, vomiting, fever, severe diarrhoea with blood, passing less urine than normal.

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