Children in hospital after E.coli outbreak

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SIX children have been struck down with the E.coli O157 bacteria, health officials said yesterday. The youngsters, aged between two and nine, are understood to be friends from the Purbeck area of Dorset. They were all admitted to hospital over the weekend after suffering stomach upsets. Five are still in hospital, with one in a serious condition. The sixth child is being treated at home after being discharged from hospital.

Health officials have launched an investigation to trace the source of the outbreak. A spokeswoman for Dorset Health Authority said: "It looks like it is linked to a group of friends and the wider community is not at risk. Some of the children go to the same school, but we are not looking at the school as a source of the outbreak."