Better food poisoning awareness amongst docs after E. coli O157 inquiry in Wales

Looks like the E. coli O157 death of 5-year-old Mason Jones, the illnesses of 160 other Welsh schoolchildren and the subsequent inquiry headed by Prof. Hugh Pennington were not entirely in vain.

The South Wales Echo is reporting today that the number of reported foodborne illnesses increased to 631 in June, compared to 234 in January.

The figures highlight the impact the public inquiry into the September 2005 E.coli outbreak in South Wales has had on the willingness of doctors and sufferers to report suspected food poisoning cases.

A spokeswoman for Rhondda Cynon Taf council said,

“The high-profile E.coli court case and subsequent inquiry that has generated increased awareness of food poisoning and, as a result, has driven up the number of cases that are reported to us.

“More GPs are diagnosing cases as food poisoning and not stomach bugs and reporting them to us."