INVESTIGATIONS are underway to discover what is the cause of a sickness outbreak linked to a Worcestershire farm.

A spokesperson for the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said it has been notified of people being sick after a visit to Gannow Farm in Inkberrow.

People who visited the 84-acre farm which has over 300 animals claim they have suffered sickness and diarrhoea with some ending up in hospital on a drip for severe dehydration or bedridden for days.

Gannow Farm said it is truly devastated people are poorly and wished them the very best recovery after claiming it was "highly likely the probable source of a bug called Cryptosporidium".

However, the UKHSA cannot yet confirm that the sickness is caused by the parasite. 

A spokesperson said: "Specialists from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) West Midlands are working with Worcestershire County Council, Worcestershire Regulatory Services and the Health and Safety Executive following reports of a number of visitors becoming unwell with diarrhoea and vomiting after visiting Gannow Farm, Worcestershire. 

"Samples have been taken and sent off for analysis, we are unable to confirm the cause of illness until we receive the results back from the laboratory.

“Anyone experiencing diarrhoea and vomiting should make sure they take plenty of drinks to replace lost fluids, wash their hands thoroughly and use separate towels, and stay away from work or school until they have been free of symptoms for 48 hours.”

The farm has decided to close for the remainder of its 2024 Farm Experience.

A spokesperson said: "We at Gannow Farm take the welfare of our visitors very seriously and for that reason we have decided to close for the remainder of the 2024 Farm Experience.

"This is a decision taken by the team and not by governing bodies however we are working closely with them as always.

"We would like to wish anyone that is poorly a speedy recovery.

"Thank you for your support and please be kind."

A mum from Droitwich has been affected after a visit to the farm with her husband and son on Monday, April 1.

"Five days later, my husband and I began showing symptoms of being unwell which have included sickness and diarrhoea.

"It has caused me to feel breathless and have heart palpitations and feel generally awful.

"We washed our hands thoroughly but still managed to catch something."

RECOMMENDED READING: 'It felt like torrential rain in my home': Mum's nine-week water leak hell

RECOMMENDED READING: Police close investigation into 'dine and dash' at countryside pub
Dr Lisa McNally, director of Public Health for Worcestershire County Council, said: “Every year a small number of people may become ill but this can be avoided by washing our hands really well.

"This means using soap and warm water after contact with animals and especially before consuming food and drinks. Hand gels or wipes are not a substitute for washing your hands as they don’t kill all bugs."

She added that people should wash their hands even if they have not touched animals during the visit.   
People who are sick or have diarrhoea within two weeks of visiting a farm, should contact their GP or NHS111.