Mystery E coli infection kills girl aged eight
AN EIGHT-year-old girl has died at Glasgow’s Royal Hospital for Sick Children after contracting an E coli infection.
NHS Ayrshire and Arran confirmed last night that the child was from East Ayrshire and had died of “complications from
E coli 0157 infection”.
In a statement, the health board said that it did not believe the case was part of a wider outbreak, and it had not identified a particular source which might represent a risk to others.
Dr Jane Cooper, consultant in public health medicine, said that the health board’s thoughts were with family.
“Sometimes it is possible to identify a particular source of
E coli O157 infection,” she said. “An outbreak may occur if a number of people are exposed to the same source.
“NHS Ayrshire and Arran is satisfied that this case is not part of an outbreak, and has not identified a particular source which could represent a risk to others.”
Dr Cooper said that an E coli O157 infection is “very easily picked up” and that 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 the sufferer having been in contact with infected animals. Sufferers often develop a fever leading to sickness and diarrhoea.
The health board has issued precautions which can be taken to reduce the risk of infection, including washing hands after contact with possible sources such as raw food and milk, and animal faeces.
A spokeswoman for East Ayrshire Council said that it was working with the health board to carry out an investigation, but that so far the results had been “inconclusive”.
“Our thoughts are with the family at this difficult time,” she added. “The investigation is ongoing.”
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Monday 20 May 2013
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