East Lothian E. coli outbreak at nursery leads to 28 cases

An outbreak of E. coli centred on a nursery in East Lothian has led to 28 cases being detected.

Church Street Pear Tree Nursery in Haddington has been closed as health authorities carry out an investigation.

Most cases are said to be mild, though some people are in hospital in a stable condition.

Another nursery in the town, Meadowpark Pear Tree, has also been closed as a precaution after people connected with it reported symptoms.

The outbreak is related to the Church Road Pear Tree Nursery in Haddington.

NHS Lothian says a specific source has not yet been identified but advanced microbiological testing is under way to identify the strain of the infection and any links.

So far, cases have been confined to the nursery, households of the children and close contacts.

Dr Richard Othieno, chairman of the incident management team, said: "We know that this will be an anxious time for many of those who are directly affected by the infection.

"We have written to parents and carers of the children affected and to staff at the nursery to provide the most up to date information and ongoing health advice.

"NHS Lothian has a robust surveillance system in place to identify E. coli cases which helped us to identify these cases early and put in place essential control measures to prevent further spread.

"This outbreak reinforces the importance of washing hands regularly, particularly before eating or preparing food, and after going to the toilet.

"We continue to provide support to the nursery and those parents and carers who have been directly affected.

"We have encouraged parents to keep their children away from other children and those at higher risk until their negative results have been received."