E coli – Ireland
An E.coli outbreak has been reported at a childcare facility in Limerick, Ireland with reports of ‘fewer than 5 patients’ that were affected.
Specific circumstances of the infection are not known, but the necessity of hand hygiene before and after preparing food, as well as after contact with animals are highlighted. Symptoms of E.coli infections include severe stomach cramps and diarrhea or fever. Life-threatening complications include kidney failure, known as hemolytic uremic syndrome.
The incident is under control by the Department of Public Health Mid-West of the Health Service Executive (HSE) have the outbreak under control, no person is hospitalized.
Photo: E coli at 10 000 x magnification.
Some strains of E. coli are harmful. Shigatoxigenic Escherichia coli (STEC) and verotoxigenic E. coli (VTEC) are strains of the bacterium Escherichia coli that produce either Shiga toxin or Shiga-like toxin (verotoxin). Only a minority of the strains cause illness in humans. These are collectively known as enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC).
They are a major cause of foodborne-illness. When infecting humans, they often cause gastroenteritis, enterocolitis, bloody diarrhea, and sometimes cause a severe complication called hemolytic-uremic syndrome.
After eating contaminated food, the first symptoms of infection can emerge anywhere from 1 to 10 days later, but usually after 3 to 4 days. These early symptoms can include diarrhea (which is often bloody), stomach cramps, mild fever, or vomiting that results in dehydration and reduced urine. Hemolytic uremic syndrome typically develops about 5 to 10 days after the first symptoms, but can take up to 3 weeks to manifest, and occurs at a time when the diarrhea is improving.
The country with the highest incidence of hemolytic-uremic syndrome is Argentina. But it can occur in frequently large outbreaks in any country.
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