UK health bosses issue major E.coli update after 128 hospital admissions

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-Credit: (Image: PA)

At least 128 individuals have been hospitalised following an E. coli outbreak associated with a particular lettuce variety, but health officials report that the number of cases is decreasing. The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has confirmed 288 cases across the UK, including 13 recent ones.

However, they emphasise that the number of cases "continue to decline". Out of 263 cases analysed so far, nearly half, or 49%, resulted in hospital admissions, according to the UKHSA. Officials last week announced that one death is "likely" connected to the shiga toxin-producing E. coli (Stec) infection.

Several food producers have issued recalls for sandwiches, wraps, and salads sold at major supermarkets and retail outlets due to concerns they may be linked to the outbreak. The Food Standards Agency (FSA) suspects that the implicated lettuce is the probable cause of the contamination, reports the Manchester Evening News.

Amy Douglas, the incident director at UKHSA, remarked: "It's encouraging that reported cases are continuing to decline, however we still expect to see a few more cases linked to this outbreak as further samples are referred to us for testing."

Darren Whitby, the FSA's head of incidents, also commented: "The food chain investigation into this outbreak will continue to take account of any new information as it becomes available."

"We will continue to work with the relevant businesses, local authorities and agencies involved to ensure the necessary steps are in place to protect consumers."