E. coli claims two more victims

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The Scottish E.coli outbreak claimed two more victims yesterday, taking the total number of dead to 15.

It brings to eight the number of pensioners who have died after being infected with the bug at a church lunch in Wishaw, Lanarkshire, a month ago. The outbreak is now the world's second worst, coming after an epidemic in Canada in 1985 which killed 19 people.

Health officials insisted that the outbreak was diminishing, in spite of announcing that tests had led to the confirmation of another 15 cases of infection.

The total number of suspected cases across central Scotland now stands at 404, of which 250 have been confirmed.

The two latest victims died on Wednesday night at Monklands District General Hospital. One was named as Sarah Cameron, 78, from Wishaw, whose family confirmed that she had been among a group of pensioners who attended a lunch at Wishaw Old Parish Church on 17 November, where allegedly contaminated pies made by John M Barr & Son were served.

The second of the two latest victims, a 78-year-old man, was not named.