A number of cases resulted in the precautionary closure of both
Hand hygiene advice was issued after 28 cases of E. coli were linked to Pear Tree Nursery in Haddington, while being investigated by NHS Lothian and partner agencies, according to a recent report on the STV News website.
That facility and another – so far unnamed – nursery have been closed as a precaution after “a number of suspected cases” were detected there.
Most illnesses have resulted in “mild symptoms”, though unfortunately “a small number of confirmed cases have been admitted to hospital” reports author Gianni Marini.
Chair of the Incident Management Team and Public Health Consultant at NHS Lothian Dr Richard Othieno is quoted as saying that parents and carers have been contacted regarding updates and “ongoing health advice”.
Hand washing advice
Dr Othieno emphasised the importance of thorough hand hygiene measures, which are important at all times, but even more so when potential infection is a risk.
“This outbreak reinforces the importance of washing hands regularly, particularly before eating or preparing food, and after going to the toilet.”
How E. coli can be prevented
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) acknowledges that most forms of E. coli “are harmless and are actually an important part of a healthy human intestinal tract”. Some kinds however, make a toxin called Shiga toxin (STEC). These are the variations that can cause disease, causing food poisoning.
The most important thing that anyone can do, says the CDC, is to wash their hands – properly.
The guidance E. coli (Escherichia coli) Prevention states,
“Practice proper hygiene, especially good handwashing.
- Wash your hands thoroughly after using the bathroom and changing diapers.
- Wash your hands thoroughly before and after preparing or eating food.
- Wash your hands thoroughly after contact with animals or their environments (at farms, petting zoos, fairs, even your own backyard).”
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