Advice to pregnant women during the lambing seasonWednesday, 15 December 2010
Women who are, or who may be, pregnant are potentially at risk of acquiring certain infectious diseases from pregnant livestock including sheep.
Pregnant women who come into close contact with sheep during lambing may risk their own health and that of their unborn child, from infections which can occur in some ewes. These include chlamydiosis (enzootic abortion of ewes – EAE), toxoplasmosis and listeriosis, which are common causes of abortion in ewes, and Q fever.
Although the number of reports of these infections and human miscarriages resulting from contact with sheep are extremely small it is important that pregnant women are aware of the potential risks.
To avoid the possible risk of infection, pregnant women are advised that they should:
Pregnant women should seek medical advice if they experience fever or influenza-like symptoms, or if concerned that they could have acquired infection from a farm environment.
Comprehensive information on this topic is available from the HPA website at: http://www.hpa.org.uk/webw/HPAweb&Page&HPAwebAutoListName/Page/1191942128199?p=1191942128199