For the second time this season, ringworm has been detected in an animal at the Hands on Farm Petting Zoo.
Town staff discovered the infection in Pepper, an Alpine goat, on July 22. At that time, the farm was immediately closed.
A veterinarian has since confirmed the presence of ringworm. Ringworm is a fungal infection that develops on the top layer of skin. It’s characterized by a red circular rash with clearer skin in the middle.
While this fungal infection rarely spreads below the surface of the skin and is treatable, people with weak immune systems may find it more difficult to rid themselves of the infection.
The Town advises washing hands often to avoid the spread of infection. For more information about the infection, visit www.healthlinkbc.ca or contact your family physician.
The farm will remain closed while the remaining animals are monitored and the barn disinfected.
In June, Cosmo the Cow was found to have ringworm. At that time, the farm was disinfected, as per Centre for Disease Control guidelines, and all animals were inspected by a vet before reopening.
Due to this second outbreak, staff will be in contact with Island Health, in an effort to determine the causes of this infection and to learn what steps that may be taken to ensure it does not reoccur.
A vet will inspect the farm again before opening. The Town will advise the public when it has been determined that HoF is free of this infection and reopened to the public.