Hobbledown Epsom: Warning issued as UK attraction temporarily closes following E Coli outbreak - symptoms
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A popular adventure park and farm has temporarily closed after reports of an outbreak of E.coli at the start of the school holidays. Hobbledown Adventure Farm Park and Zoo in Epsom, Surrey closed its doors on July 27 after three children were thought to have been taken ill with the bacterial infection after their visit to the attraction.
Hobbledown posted an update on their website to inform visitors of the incident and to warn people who have recently visited to look out for symptoms of the infection.
The update states: ‘Hobbledown Epsom as a voluntary precautionary measure is currently closed. We have been notified of three cases of an E. coli infection in individuals that visited Hobbledown recently.
“As a result, we are in close contact with Epsom & Ewell District Council Environmental Health team and also the UK Health Security Agency.
“Hobbledown will be closed while tests are being carried out at the site by the health authorities. We are hoping to reopen as soon as possible and will provide an update in due course.
“I can assure everyone that the wellbeing of visitors to Hobbledown is our absolute priority and we do everything in our power to keep guests safe. Anyone with tickets for today has been informed of the closure and will be offered a number of options to re-arrange or receive a full refund within five working days, plus 50% off their next visit.
“If you have visited Hobbledown Epsom since 11 July and you or anyone in your group has sickness or diarrhoea please stay at home for 48 hours after your symptoms clear.”
E Coli - what is it
According to the NHS website E Coli is a bacterial infection which is usually caught by eating contaminated food, such as raw leafy vegetables or undercooked meat, touching infected animals or accidentally coming into contact with their faeces, being in contact with people who have the illness or drinking water or swimming in contaminated water.
The NHS website says children under five years old are at highest risk of developing a serious condition called haemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS) after being infected. This can sometimes lead to kidney failure and death, although this is rare.
E Coli symptoms
Symptoms include diarrhoea, stomach cramps and occasionally fever. About half of people with the infection will have bloody diarrhoea.
People usually notice symptoms 3 to 4 days after they have been infected. But symptoms can start any time between 1 and 14 days afterwards.
These symptoms can last up to 2 weeks.