Verotoxigenic Escherichia coli (VTEC) are significant for their low infectious dose, their potential clinical severity and the frequency with which they generate outbreaks.
To describe the relative importance of different outbreak transmission routes for VTEC infection in Ireland, we reviewed outbreak notification data for the period 2004–2012, describing the burden and characteristics of foodborne, waterborne, animal contact and person-to-person outbreaks.
Outbreaks where person-to-person spread was reported as the sole transmission route accounted for more than half of all outbreaks and outbreaks cases, most notably in childcare facilities. The next most significant transmission route was waterborne spread from untreated or poorly treated private water supplies.
The focus for reducing incidence of VTEC should be on reducing waterborne and person-to-person transmission, by publicizing Health Service Executive materials developed for consumers on private well management, and for childcare facility managers and public health professionals on prevention of person-to-person spread.
Verotoxigenic Escherichia coli transmission in Ireland: a review of notified outbreaks, 2004–2012
Epidemiology and Infection, Volume 144, Issue 5, April 2016, pages 917-926, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0950268815002034
Garvey, A. Carroll, E. McNamara, and P. J. McKeown
The Ministry of Education will warn all early childhood centers in New Zealand about the risks of alcohol-based hand sanitizer in the wake of an Invercargill 4-year-old girl becoming grossly intoxicated at her preschool.
The ministry has completed a two-week investigation into an incident at the Woodhouse Early Learning Centre that resulted in the girl being admitted to hospital with a blood alcohol level of 188mg, nearly four times the new legal driving limit.
The preschool owner, Jackie Woodward, believed the girl got intoxicated from drinking hand sanitizer at the premises without the knowledge of staff.
Her assertion has been backed up by the ministry, which has found it was “most likely” the child drank hand sanitiser.
“We’ve completed the investigation into the incident at Woodhouse Early Learning Centre, where a child was admitted to hospital due to a suspected alcohol intake,” ministry spokeswoman Katrina Casey said.
“Our investigation has shown that it was most likely the child ingested hand sanitizers at the center. We found no alcohol on the premises and the center manager has formally stated that there was no other form of alcohol on the premises.”
The number of E .coli victims across Dorset has now increased to 18, Public Health England (PHE) has confirmed.
The seven additional cases have come to light following screening tests carried out on children and staff at the Blandford Children’s Centre.
They are described as “secondary” cases in that they have contracted E coli from another confirmed victim.
It is not known whether the seven new cases are adults or children but a PHE spokesperson said they had not all become unwell from the bug.
PHE also confirmed it has still not managed to find a link between the first victims, and investigations are still being carried out.
BBC reports that the Blandford Children’s Centre Nursery in Dorset (U.K.) was closed as health officials investigate a cluster of rare E. coli illnesses.
Vanessa Glenn, head of family support at Dorset County Council, which runs the nursery in Black Lane, said a child there was diagnosed with E. coli infection in mid-October.
She said it was closed for three days while deep-cleaning work was carried out.
Another child from the nursery was infected on Monday and it is currently closed pending the results of staff blood tests and child stool samples, she added.
She said there had also been another E. coli case involving a child from Blandford who had attended Shaftesbury Children’s Centre, although this is not part of the “cluster”.
Ms Glenn said: “While there is no indication of a direct link between the nursery and recent cases, we are working closely with Public Health England and local authority environmental health officers to help tackle the problem.”
She added parents had been “kept fully informed” and were being advised of the nursery closure.
“As some cases have occurred in people associated with a children’s nursery, letters have been sent to parents whose children attend the nursery and staff, informing them about E. coli O55 and the ongoing investigation,” PHE said.
A couple of years ago I collaborated with Clemson’s Angie Fraser on a set of USDA NIFA funded food safety and infection factsheets for childcare facilities including using exclusion of ill staff and children as an outbreak control measure. The sheets can be downloaded here and here.
Since the early 80’s E. coli O157:H7 had been public enemy number one in the pathogenic foodborne E. coli world. Sample and hold strategies that came out of the meat-related E. coli focus was based on O157.
Then came the other STECs.
And Europe’s O104:H4 fenugreek sprout-linked outbreak.
There are lots of of E. colis to worry about.
According to Heart 102.3, a cluster of E. coli O55 has been identified Blanford UK.
Since July, ten people have been diagnosed with this infection which can cause bloody diarrhoea and seven of those affected have developed kidney problems – called haemolytic uraemic syndrome – a serious complication of an E. coli infection. There have been no deaths.
As some cases have occurred in people associated with a children’s nursery, letters have been sent to parents whose children attend the nursery and staff, informing them about E. Coli O55 and the ongoing investigation.
Noëleen McFarland, Consultant in Health Protection at PHE Wessex, said: “We are working closely with colleagues in the North Dorset Environmental Health Department to identify possible sources of infection. It is an infection that can be passed easily from person to person and young children are particularly easily affected.
“Any infection with E. coli can be very serious. We have interviewed all of those affected or their parents and their close contacts to look for possible causes in the days before they became ill. This information is being used in the ongoing investigation into these cases.”
Reading about HUS in kids is like a gut punch.