Sheep warning sounded for pregnant women
PREGNANT women risk their own health and that of their unborn child if they come into close contact with sheep during lambing, warns the Dept of Health and MAFF.
They may be susceptible to infections, which are common causes of abortion in ewes such as chlamydiosis (enzootic abortion of ewes – EAE) toxoplasmosis and listeriosis.
To avoid the risk of infection, pregnant women:
• Should not help to lamb or milk ewes.
• avoid all contact with aborted or new born lambs or afterbirth.
• avoid handling clothing, boots etc which have come into contact with ewes or lambs.
They should seek medical advice if they experience fever of flu-like symptoms and are concerned they could have acquired infection from a farm environment.
Farmers have a responsibility to minimise risks to pregnant women and this includes family members, staff, the public or anyone visiting the farm
Pregnant women should stay well away from sheep at lambing time.