A PUBLIC health warning has been issued after 14 people fell ill following a visit to a farm.

Public Health England (PHE) has received reports of people becoming ill with cryptosporidium after visiting Gaston Farm, near Slindon between March 17 and April 11.

Symptoms can take up to two weeks to emerge so PHE is urging people to remain vigilant if they or their family have visited the farm during this period. The gastroenteritis illness is caused by a tiny organism, most likely to have resulted from contact with animals shedding the organism in their faeces. The infection can also be easily passed from person to person.

Dr Kevin Carroll, a consultant with PHE South East’s health protection team said

“Cryptosporidium causes vomiting and diarrhoea in those affected. Anyone suffering from diarrhoea symptoms is being advised not to attend school or childcare settings for 48 hours after recovery. And if you have been diagnosed with cryptosporidium you must not swim until at least two weeks after the symptoms have ended.

“Cryptosporidium is highly infectious so t is important to be scrupulously clean around your home.

“Anyone who is concerned about vomiting and diarrhoea symptoms should phone NHS 111 or your GP for advice.”