Friday, 10 August 2007

Foot & Mouth Update from Rushmoor's Chief Executive

There have been a few developments since my last message. We remain within the outer Surveillance Zone which extends to a range of 10kms around the two inner Protection Zones near Pirbright. This has no real impact on daily life within the Borough although all livestock movements remain banned which has led to closure of the Abattoir in North Camp.
Following tests which proved negative, the land at Hawley Meadows has been re-opened and no changes are proposed currently to the boundary of the Surveillance Area.
It was announced this morning that a temporary Protection Area had been declared around a farm near Dorking where some animals had shown symptoms but this could yet turn out to be a false alarm. Indeed early indications are that this is the case.
Legionnaires Disease
There has also been coverage in the national press about the possibility of a link between the laboratory in Pirbright which is at the centre of the Foot and Mouth outbreak and some recent cases of Legionnaires Disease amongst residents in North Hampshire and Surrey. I can confirm that our colleagues in Environmental Health have been involved in an investigation into a small cluster of Legionnaires' Disease cases in Surrey and North Hampshire and are working with the Health Protection Agency and Consultants in Communicable Disease Control for Hampshire and Surrey. Recent press coverage suggests that the laboratory has been cleared of any direct involvement but it is important to recognise that Legionnaires' Disease is caused by a type of bacterium that is widely found in the environment. If the organism is inhaled in aerosol form it can cause the disease.
Across the UK, there has been a sharp rise in the number or cases, up 60% since 2005. More information is available on Legionella at
I would stress though that there is absolutely no cause for concern, the numbers are small and considerable effort is being put into isolating the cause.

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