Toddlers suffering from E.coli bug as crèche is closed
A créche has been forced to close as two children were hospitalised following an E.coli outbreak.
Dun Beag Crèche in Breanra, Dunmore, Co Galway, was closed this week to limit the spread of the infection.
A girl and boy, both aged two, are currently in Temple Street Children's Hospital in Dublin where they were placed on dialysis.
They were first admitted to University Hospital Galway and later transferred to Temple Street due to severe diarrhoea and dehydration.
Speaking to the Irish Independent, the father of the boy said his son had to have a blood transfusion.
He said he is now doing "a lot better" and is "finally on the right side of things": "He's been here nearly two weeks and he had to get platelets and a blood transfusion. He was on dialysis for nearly a week.
"We're not sure yet where the E.coli came from but we're concerned," he said.
The mother of the girl said her daughter is in a stable condition but she has had a "tough time".
She said: "My daughter has been in hospital for over a week now. She only turned two last month. She's stable now but last night was a rough night. We won't know more until the doctor updates us."
The outbreak is believed to be from the verotoxigenic escherichia coli (VTEC) strain of the bacteria, which can cause bloody diarrhoea, vomiting, nausea and a high temperature.
In serious cases it can lead to haemolytic-uraemic syndrome, which can cause kidney failure.
Janet Glynn, manager of the crèche, confirmed one staff member has also been infected.
"At this stage all we are concerned about is the welfare of the children and staff.
"We are awaiting test results and are following the HSE's guidelines," she said.
Asked why it took over a week from the hospitalisation of the two children to close the crèche, the HSE said: "The part of the crèche where the affected children were was closed initially in keeping with national control policies for more sizeable crèches. The HSE is closely monitoring the situation."