Seven infected with E. coli
Saturday 15 September 2012
Seven people have been infected with a strain of E coli after visiting an area of parkland, public health officials have confirmed.
The Health Protection Agency (HPA) said it was working with Birmingham City Council to investigate the outbreak at Sutton Park in Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands.
Of the seven patients identified as being infected with E. coli O157 in recent weeks, five were children under eight and at least one is known to have been hospitalised.
Advising parents that E. coli O157 can cause serious illness in young children, the HPA said the strain of the bacteria was often associated with contact with rural environments that may have been contaminated by animal faeces.
Dr Roger Gajraj, a consultant with the HPA's West Midlands East Health Protection Unit, said: "E. coli O157 can be very serious in young children and can in some instances cause kidney failure.
"The council is increasing hand-washing facilities at the park and the city council and HPA are issuing leaflets and displaying posters to warn visitors of the risks and advise on preventative measures.
"However to minimise the risk of infection parents may want to consider taking very young children to other parks in the local area."
Dr Gajraj added: "The best protection against E. coli is to always wash your hands, especially after contact with animals, after going to the toilet and immediately before eating.
"I would also advise cyclists and walkers to wash their tyres, footwear and their hands after visiting Sutton Park as an extra precaution."
Sutton Park, which covers around 2,400 acres and offers bridle-paths and cycling routes, is thought to attract around two million visitors annually.
Designated a National Nature Reserve, the former royal deer park is included in English Heritage's list of historic parks and gardens, and includes sites of archaeological interest.
Birmingham City Council's head of parks, Darren Share, said: "We are working closely with the HPA to control this outbreak and we have already taken a number of measures.
"But as the infection can be particularly serious for young children we feel it is appropriate at this stage to warn parents and families of the potential risks."
Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart bromance continues: X-Men star gushes about 'pussy cat' BFF Patrick Stewart
David Cameron stung by jellyfish: PM hurt after ignoring advice of locals while on holiday
South Korea ferry: Vice principal rescued from sinking ship found hanged
Hollande's affair: Catherine Deneuve and Sophie Marceau in war of words over President's relationship with Julie Gayet
Kim Jong-un, crowds and contraband kit: Inside North Korea with the the Pyongyang marathon winner
The food poverty scandal that shames Britain: Nearly 1m people rely on handouts to eat – and benefit reforms may be to blame
US Navy christens huge $3 billion destroyer ship USS Zumwalt that appears as a fishing boat on enemy radar
Scottish independence: It is the English who should be on their knees, begging the Scots to vote ‘No’
Nigel Farage fatigue? Half of voters ‘immune’ to Ukip’s appeal
Nigel Farage: I’m taking on the status quo, and the Establishment’s fighting back
Refugee facing deportation from Sweden saved by fellow passengers refusing to let plane leave
- 1 KFC 'sorry' after lesbian couple are kicked out of Bath restaurant for 'heavy petting'
- 2 Dylan Tombides: West Ham confirm 20-year-old striker has died after battle with cancer
- 3 24 people applied for the 'world's toughest job', here are their interviews
- 4 'Sinful': Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy comes under attack
- 5 PFA Player of the Year: Luis Suarez, Daniel Sturridge and Steven Gerrard all nominated as Liverpool dominate award shortlist
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is a company that specializ...
£153.75 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is an innovative outsourcin...
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company has been providing on site ...
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: We've been supplying best of breed peopl...