New E.coli case is suspected

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The Independent Online
ANOTHER PERSON was admitted to hospital on Saturday night with suspected E coli food poisoning, health officials said.

There have been 20 confirmed cases in west Cumbria of patients affected by the potentially deadly O157 strain. Another 11 people with symptoms are awaiting test results.

The North Cumbria Health Authority could not say whether the worst was over, as the infection has an incubation period of up to two weeks.

At West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven eight adults were being treated in an isolation unit, and three children were in individual rooms. "With the exception of one elderly gentleman who has been described as `poorly', all the other adults and children are stable and are progressing well," said a health authority spokesman. "The three children at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle continue to receive kidney treatment but doctors ... are optimistic all three will make a full recovery." All the patients are believed to be from the Cockermouth and Brigham area.

The infection has been linked to a dairy in the area.Health officials are confident they found the source of the infection as quickly as possible. They believe there was a fault with a pasteurising unit, resulting in families drinking "raw" milk. They seized milk for analysis and served the farmer with a prohibition notice.

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