Investigations moving to a close in Wrexham E.coli outbreak

Investigations into the E.coli outbreak in Wrexham are coming to a close.

The outbreak investigation team has ruled out other possible sources of infection and now considers a food premises to be the most likely source.

The food premises were closed by Wrexham County Borough Council (WCBC) Food Safety Officers on 30 July as a precaution to protect the health of the public.

A report is being prepared by WCBC to determine what future action will be taken.

An application to reopen the premises was received by WCBC last week but has subsequently been withdrawn.

The Outbreak Control Team led by Dr Judy Hart, Consultant in Communicable Disease Control with the National Public Health Service for Wales (NPHS), identified eating food from the premises as a common link between the four confirmed cases. Extensive microbiological testing has revealed that the strains of E. coli O157 causing illness in these individuals are the same, indicating the same source of origin.

A full report into the outbreak will be prepared by Dr Hart, but will not be released until any legal action has concluded.

One person is still in hospital following the outbreak, a 32 year old female who remains seriously ill in intensive care.

Three children from Shropshire have been confirmed as having the same E.coli O157 infection as the four original cases. Two of them, a female aged one and a male aged six were admitted to hospital and are now recovering at home. The third is an eight year old male who had only mild symptoms. The children are thought to have acquired their illness within the home, where they had contact with an unconfirmed case, who also consumed food from the premises.

Dr Hart said that careful attention to hand washing after using the lavatory and before preparing or eating food is the best way to prevent spread of infection.


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