Young livestock in­crease risk of catch­ing dis­ease

South Waikato News - - NEWS -

There were two in­fec­tious dis­ease no­ti­fi­ca­tions in the South Waikato dur­ing Au­gust.

In one in­ci­dent an adult male con­tracted Yersin­io­sis, a dis­ease which is com­monly as­so­ci­ated with wild pigs.

The pos­si­ble sources of in­fec­tion are farm and ru­ral wa­ter sup­plies or contact with wild boar.

The other in­ci­dent in­volved a child in­fected with Gi­a­r­dia­sis, which is com­monly spread through fae­cal mat­ter.

South Waikato Dis­trict Coun­cil en­vi­ron­ment group man­ager Sharon Robin­son said the pos­si­ble sources of in­fec­tion were farm and ru­ral wa­ter sup­plies or contact with fae­cal mat­ter (baby farm an­i­mals, gen­eral farm ac­tiv­ity).

She also con­firmed that num­bers of in­fec­tious dis­eases in Septem­ber were trend­ing at five cases.

‘‘There is al­ways a spike in in­fec­tious dis­eases in spring time across New Zealand.’’

In the South Waikato about 90 per cent of all in­fec­tious dis­eases each year oc­cur dur­ing spring.

Each in­ci­dent is re­ported to the Depart­ment of Pub­lic Health.

Mrs Robin­son said spring in­fec­tion rates were pri­mar­ily be­cause of calv­ing be­cause there was more contact be­tween house­holds and baby farm an­i­mals.

‘‘A sec­ondary fac­tor can be heavy rain­fall. Dur­ing pe­ri­ods of nor­mal rain­fall fae­cal mat­ter ly­ing on the sur­face leaches slowly into the ground over time; dur­ing pe­ri­ods of heavy rain­fall this fae­cal mat­ter ei­ther en­ters the wa­ter ta­ble more quickly and in higher con­cen­tra­tions, af­fect­ing ground­wa­ter, or farm con­tours can mean that fae­cal mat­ter can run closer to home­steads where chil­dren play.’’

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