Children Quarantined As E.coli Investigations Continue

Children infected with E.coli are in quarantine in hospital in Dundee as investigations continue into the latest outbreak of the potentially deadly bug.

NHS Tayside said a "very small number'' of children with suspected and confirmed cases of the infection are being treated in a dedicated area in Tayside Children's Hospital.

A playgroup in Angus was temporarily closed last week after the outbreak in the region was uncovered.

The health board said it cannot confirm the number of cases due to patient confidentiality, but said the number infected is "very low''.

Officials continue to investigate whether the latest cases are connected to an earlier outbreak which led to the death of a three-year-old girl from Dunbartonshire and infected 21 others.

Health Protection Scotland, which is leading the investigation, said the "most likely source'' of that outbreak is Dunsyre Blue cheese produced by Errington Cheese in South Lanarkshire - but the firm said their tests remain negative for the E.coli strain.

NHS Tayside Consultant in Public Health Medicine Dr Jackie Hyland said: "This is an evolving situation. Members of the community are understandably concerned and have provided tremendous support in trying to minimise spread of infection and identify a possible source.

"The cases and contacts have now been identified and children should now be attending school or nursery unless they are symptomatic or have been formally excluded by the Health Protection Team.

"We are working very closely with our partners Angus Council, the local school and playgroup, to ensure everything has been done to prevent the spread of infection. This has included additional cleaning at those premises.''

She said the incident management team has been working hard to help all those affected and people considered to be at risk have been identified and received appropriate treatment.

She added: "The community should be reassured that the risk to the general public remains low.''

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