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Sunday 22 October 2017

HSE probes outbreak of 'deadly' E coli strain

Greg Harkin

THE HSE says it is investigating the outbreak of a potentially deadly strain of E coli.

A child is understood to be among a number of people who have suffered from severe vomiting and diarrhoea.

It's understood most of the cases are centred around Inch Island, around seven miles from Buncrana in Co Donegal.

The illness is believed to be the 0157 strain, which has been associated with eating undercooked, contaminated beef, swimming in or drinking contaminated water, or eating contaminated vegetables.

However, the public water supply has been given the all-clear by the authorities.

In extreme cases, it can lead to liver failure in young children and the elderly.

The HSE has confirmed there has been an outbreak of E coli but won't say how many people are affected because of patient confidentiality. The source of the illness has not been traced.

It says the Department of Public Health are investigating the outbreak but all tests taken so far have ruled out the public water supply as the root of the problem.

"In the majority of cases, this is a self-limiting illness, meaning that the patients get better by themselves without further treatment," said a spokeswoman for HSE West.

"The Department of Public Health has carried out screening of close contacts, as is usual practice, and have found a small number of people with the bacteria who are not showing any symptoms."

Donegal County Council area manager, Pat Gillespie, said: "The outcome of our testing shows that any E coli sickness has not been caused by the water."

Irish Independent

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