Hunt on for E.coli outbreak source

14 Aug 2012

Health chiefs are searching for the source of an E.coli infection which caused the death of an eight-year-old girl.

NHS Ayrshire and Arran said the child was from East Ayrshire and was treated in the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Glasgow after contracting the E. coli O157 strain.

The health board said it has not yet identified the source of the infection but does not believe the case is part of an outbreak.

Dr Jane Cooper, consultant in public health medicine said: "Our thoughts are with the family during this very difficult time. Sometimes it is possible to identify a particular source of E.coli O157 infection. An outbreak may occur if a number of people are exposed to the same source.

"NHS Ayrshire & Arran is satisfied that this case is not part of an outbreak, and has not identified a particular source which might represent a risk to others.

"E. coli O157 infection is very easily picked up and sometimes investigations cannot identify either a particular source, or any way in which the risk of infection could have been avoided."

Symptoms normally develop after ingesting contaminated foods or liquids or having been in contact with infected animals. Infected cases often develop a fever leading to sickness and diarrhoea.

Copyright Press Association 2012

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