UK health bosses warn 'do not' as E.coli cases rise

A bacteria culture infected with E. coli
-Credit: (Image: inyourArea)

Health chiefs have issued a warning to people after the number of reported E.coli cases in the current outbreak has been confirmed to have risen.

As of Tuesday, June 25, a further 19 cases have been associated with the recent STEC 0145 outbreak, bringing the UK total to 275. The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) today, Thursday, said it had identified two people in England who died within 28 days of infection with shiga toxin-producing E.coli.

Health bosses added: "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."

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In a new alert issued later on Thursday, UKHSA advice was updated, with people warned of symptoms, and what they should and should not do if they experience any vomiting or diarrhoea.

Amy Douglas, Incident Director at UKHSA, said a "few more cases linked to this outbreak" were expected. Ms Douglas continued: "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."

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