Warning for pregnant women ahead of lambing season
PUBLISHED: 14:00 19 February 2017
Pregnant women in North Somerset are being urged to avoid close contact with sheep during this year’s lambing season.
Public Health England South West is warning expectant mothers to keep away from pregnant animals or ones which have recently given birth as they can carry germs which affect pregnant women. These include chlamydiosis, listeriosis, Q fever and toxoplasmosis.
Although these infections are uncommon in sheep and the risks to pregnant women are low, mothers-to-be should still avoid close contact with sheep during lambing.
Dominic Mellon, a consultant in health protection for Public Health England South West, said: “Some infections can be passed to humans and if pregnant women become infected, it could harm her and her unborn baby’s health.
“Although the number of human pregnancies affected by contact with sheep is extremely small, it is important for pregnant women to avoid close contact with sheep and other livestock that have recently given birth.”