A mid Suffolk petting farm remains closed several weeks after a number of visitors to the site fell ill.

A UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) investigation into a suspected bacterial outbreak at Baylham House Rare Breeds Farm, between Great Blakenham and Needham Market, is ongoing and the farm is following all public health guidance.

The farm was temporarily closed in late April after four visitors fell ill after close contact with the animals, eventually linked to Shiga toxin E.coli (STEC) and Cryptosporidium.

The UKHSA East of England confirmed extra control measures were being introduced and the farm was working closely with health authorities.

It has been confirmed the farm has not yet reopened as the investigation continues.

East Anglian Daily Times: Animals at Baylham House Rare Breeds Farm (file photo)Animals at Baylham House Rare Breeds Farm (file photo) (Image: Newsquest)

Speaking previously, Sarah Weir, consultant in health protection at UKHSA East of England, said: “Visiting farms to meet the animals is a fun activity for all to enjoy and hand hygiene is the best way to avoid germs that may be passed from animals.

“Symptoms of STEC include severe diarrhoea (including bloody diarrhoea), stomach cramps, vomiting and fever. Contact NHS 111 if you or your child have bloody diarrhoea."

STEC can, in some cases, develop into life-threatening haemolytic uraemic syndrome, most common in children under five.

The farm announced the temporarily closure in a post on Facebook in April and said: "We are devastated to learn of four cases of illness in visitors to the farm and have decided to temporarily close while investigations are ongoing to determine the source."

On May 3, the farm added in a further post: “Thank you for all your messages of well wishes for the animals and staff. We have no further news yet, however we are doing all we can to re-open as soon as possible.”