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Rare Strain Of E.Coli In Dorset


8:39am 29th November 2014
(Updated 9:13am 29th November 2014)

An investigation's been launched into a number of cases of illness in Dorset caused by a rare strain of the E. coli bacteria.

Since July - 11 people have been diagnosed, 7 of them have developed kidney problems.

Some of the cases have been associated with Blandford Children's Centre.

Letters have been sent to parents and children and staff have been routinely screened as a precautionary measure.

Letters have been sent to parents and children and staff have been routinely screened as a precautionary measure.
Noëleen McFarland, Consultant in Health Protection at PHE Wessex, said:

"We are working closely with colleagues in the North Dorset Environmental Health Department to identify possible sources of infection. It is an infection that can be passed easily from person to person and young children are particularly easily affected.
"Any infection with E. coli can be very serious. We have interviewed all of those affected or their parents and their close contacts to look for possible causes in the days before they became ill.  This information is being used in the ongoing investigation into these cases.
"We want to stress the importance of good hand hygiene. Wash hands thoroughly using soap and water after using the toilet, before and after handling food and after contact with animals including farm animals.  Small children should be supervised in washing their hands. Remove any loose soil before storing vegetables and thoroughly wash all vegetables and fruit that will be eaten raw."

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