Two ill with E.coli after dance event

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Two cases of a deadly infection have been detected in two young girls that attended a dance event, health officials said today.

An 11-year-old from the West Midlands and a seven-year-old from Denbighshire in North Wales have fallen ill with E.coli O157 after attending Dance Camp Wales in Cresselly, Pembrokeshire, West Wales.

The seven-year-old is recovering at home while the 11-year-old is receiving treatment in hospital.

The National Public Health Service for Wales (NPHS) is urging anyone that attended the event, which took place between July 29 and August 9, to contact their GP if they experience symptoms of the infection such as abdominal pain, diarrhoea and fever.

Most people recover without complications, but the most severe cases can develop kidney failure.

The incubation period for E.coli O157 can range from one to 14 days, but is normally three to four days. The length of the illness can vary but people are usually ill for up to a fortnight.

The organisers of Dance Camp Wales are now working closely with Pembrokeshire County Council's Public Protection Department and the NPHS to investigate the source of the infection and contact everyone who attended the event.

Dr Jorg Hoffmann, consultant in communicable disease control for the NPHS, said: "People can become infected with E.coli O157 by direct or indirect contact with animal faeces, particularly on farms and sites used for camping, and swimming in or drinking unchlorinated water.

"The illness can also be associated with contact with an infected person or from eating contaminated food.

"We are therefore urging anyone who attended the event who is now having, or has recovered from, symptoms associated with E.coli infection to observe strict personal hygiene to prevent further spread of the illness within the family.

"People should wash and dry their hands thoroughly after going to the toilet and before preparing or eating food. Parents of small children should supervise young children whilst washing their hands.

"Disinfecting all areas of the bathroom regularly, including hard surfaces and toilet and door handles, can also help limit the risk of further infection.

Dr Hoffmann added: "Anyone who is experiencing symptoms should seek medical advice urgently. We are also asking people to contact Pembrokeshire County Council's Public Protection Department on 01437 764551 or email foodsafetypembrokeshire.gov.uk so that we can build up an accurate picture of how many people are affected to help our ongoing investigation."

Comments