Thanks to everyone who attended and contributed to the ESCCAP UK & Ireland hydatid meeting in Wales last week. Special thanks to Arjen Brouwer and Marisol Collins for speaking. Arjen has been involved in gathering vital abattoir trace back data and Marisol is currently completing the Hydata project which will give essential UK distribution data on the parasite. Farmers, Welsh Government, APHA and vets were all represented at the meeting and we look forward to working with a wide range of partners and our sponsors to raise awareness of what still a significant zoonotic risk in the UK.
Key points were.
- Hydatid is still very prevalent in Mid Wales
- There is strong evidence to suggest it is endemic in other parts of mainland Britain as well as the Western isles of Scotland
- Current awareness is low while human cases of hydatid are still occurring
- More data is needed to establish where in Britain E.granulosus is endemic. The Hydata project will be next piece of research to help address this and will soon be completed.
- In the meantime, regular deworming of at risk dogs, increased education of high risk professions such as hunt kennel workers, anti dog fouling campaigns and prevention of access to dogs to raw offal and fallen carcasses is vital to reduce disease incidence.
- If we don't act now, we won't know the human health impact consequences on inaction for many years due to the parasites long incubation period.