E.coli toll rises to 18

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The death toll in the Scottish food-poisoning outbreak has risen to 18 after an 86-year-old woman succumbed to the infection.

Health officials confirmed last night that a woman from the Wishaw area, who was admitted to Monklands Hospital, Airdrie, on 9 December with E. coli 0157 infection, died on Friday.

The total number of fatalities is now almost equal to the worst-known outbreak of the infection, when 19 pensioners died in 1985 at an old people's home in Canada