E.coli outbreak sees more than 100 people fall ill

E.coli bacteria
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images/Science Photo Library RF)

More than 100 people have fallen ill in a new E.coli outbreak as the number of confirmed cases is "expected to rise".

There have been 113 confirmed cases in the Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) O145 outbreak since May 25. The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), said it, along with other public health agencies, is investigating the jump in cases.

Infections caused by STEC bacteria can cause severe bloody diarrhoea and, in some cases, more serious complications. It is often transmitted by eating contaminated food but can also be spread by close contact with an infected person, as well as direct contact with an infected animal or its environment.

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Cases, UKHSA said, range in age from 2 years old to 79 years old, with the majority of cases in young adults.

The breakdown of reported cases per country in the UK is as follows:

  • 81 in England

  • 18 in Wales

  • 13 in Scotland

  • 1 in Northern Ireland (for this case, evidence suggests that they acquired their infection while visiting England)

Trish Mannes, Incident Director at UKHSA, said: "Symptoms of infections with STEC include severe and sometimes bloody diarrhoea, stomach cramps, vomiting and fever. If you have diarrhoea and vomiting, you can take steps to avoid passing it on to family and friends.

"NHS.UK has information on what to do if you have symptoms and when to seek medical advice. Washing your hands with soap and warm water and using disinfectants to clean surfaces will help stop infections from spreading.

"If you are unwell with diarrhoea and vomiting, you should not prepare food for others and avoid visiting people in hospitals or care homes to avoid passing on the infection in these settings. Do not return to work, school or nursery until 48 hours after your symptoms have stopped."

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