E Coli O157 in Surrey: Update
23 September 2009
The Health Protection Agency (HPA) reports that the total number of cases of E Coli O157 linked to Godstone Farm in Surrey is 76.
Five children remain in hospital all of whom are described today as stable or improving. None are seriously ill.
Notes to editors:
- E coli O157 bacteria usually cause diarrhoea which settles within seven days without treatment. The diarrhoea may contain blood. Occasionally, serious kidney and blood complications can occur. Good hygiene is very important in preventing person-to person spread and small children should be supervised with hand washing after using the toilet and before eating.
- Escherichia coli (commonly referred to as E. coli) is a species of bacteria commonly found in the intestines of humans and animals. There are many different types of E. coli, and while some live in the intestine quite harmlessly, others may cause a variety of diseases. The bacterium is found in faeces and can survive in the environment.
- To avoid getting strains capable of causing intestinal disease people should avoid eating undercooked meat, in particular inadequately cooked minced beef and avoid drinking unpasteurised milk. Individuals working with uncooked meats or on farms should pay close attention to good hygiene practices, as should visitors to farms.
- It is important to always wash your hands with soap after going to the toilet and before and after handling food.
- Hand washing in young children should be supervised, especially after handling animals or their surroundings, for instance on a visit to a farm.
More information: http://www.hpa.org.uk/ecoliVTEC
Last reviewed: 23 September 2009