Health chiefs say person has died from E.coli outbreak with more cases expected

A number of food manufacturers have recalled certain sandwiches, wraps and salads sold in major supermarkets over fears they are linked to an outbreak of E.coli.
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A person has died in the E.coli outbreak which has been linked to supermarket sandwiches. Officials at the UK Health Security Agency said in total there are 275 cases of serious illness confirmed in the outbreak.

The latest figures, released this afternoon, show that in the last week there have been an additional 19 cases in the outbreak. It said that in all cases, the person had symptoms before June 4 - and warned that more cases would come to light as additional samples were tested, and the genome sequencing confirmed.

In total there have been 182 cases in England, 58 in Scotland, 31 in Wales and 4 in Northern Ireland. The UKHSA said in the latter case it believes they caught it in England.

Of those 249 cases to date, 49% were admitted to hospital. The UKHSA has identified 2 individuals in England who died within 28 days of infection with the STEC outbreak strain. Based on the information available from health service clinicians one of these deaths is likely linked to their STEC infection. Both individuals had underlying medical conditions.

The deaths occurred in May. Amy Douglas, Incident Director at UKHSA, said: "We’re pleased that fewer cases have been reported, however we still expect to see a few more cases linked to this outbreak as further samples are referred to us for testing.

"Symptoms of infections with STEC include severe and sometimes bloody diarrhoea, stomach cramps, vomiting and fever. While diarrhoea and vomiting can have a range of causes, there are simple steps you can take to reduce your risk and the risk of infecting others.

"Washing your hands with soap and warm water and using disinfectants to clean surfaces will help stop any further spread of infection. If you are unwell, you should not prepare food for others while unwell 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. If you are concerned about your symptoms, follow NHS.UK guidance on when to seek help and the steps you can take to avoid further spread to family and friends."

Darren Whitby, Head of Incidents at the FSA said: "Earlier this month, we confirmed that several sandwich manufacturers had taken precautionary action to withdraw and recall various sandwiches, wraps, subs and rolls after food chain and epidemiological links enabled us to narrow down a wide range of foods to a type of lettuce used in sandwich products as the likely cause of the outbreak.

"This remains a complex investigation and we continue to work with the relevant businesses and the local authorities to ensure necessary steps are being taken to protect consumers. Although we are confident in the likely source of the outbreak being linked to lettuce, work continues to confirm this and identify the root cause of the outbreak with the growers, suppliers and manufacturers so that actions can be taken to prevent a re-occurrence."