South East Wales

South Wales E. coli outbreak: Seven cases confirmed

Health officials say seven cases of E. coli have now been confirmed in an outbreak in south east Wales.

In three of the cases, people have been taken to hospital where their conditions are described are stable.

Cardiff council closed Adonis Kebab House on City Road on Thursday as a precaution while investigations are carried out.

Public Health Wales said they are looking into two further cases.

A multi-agency outbreak control team has been set up to lead the investigation.

The team is made up of Public Health Wales, and Cardiff, Rhonda Cynon Taf and Vale of Glamorgan councils.

Stomach cramps

Dr Gwen Lowe, consultant in communicable disease control at Public Health Wales, and chair of the outbreak control team, said: "E.coli O157 is a serious bacterial infection that causes abdominal pain and diarrhoea.

"The symptoms of E.coli O157 range from mild diarrhoea, stomach cramps and fever to bloody diarrhoea.

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

Dr Lowe said letters had been sent to GPs and out-of-hours services across south east Wales to alert them.

She said the incubation period for E. coli 0157 is characteristically three or four days.

"We would therefore expect to continue to see more cases throughout this period, even after the source of the illness has been identified and removed."

About 1,000 cases

Image caption More cases of the disease are being investigated

She said the length of the illness can vary, but people are usually ill for up to two weeks.

People can become infected by eating contaminated food, through contact with farm animals or with contaminated water.

The infection can also pass from person to person and, while the length of the illness can vary, people are usually ill for up to two weeks.

Earlier, Dr Prysor Williams, an environmental management lecturer at Bangor university, said this type of outbreak is rare.

He told BBC Wales: "There are about 1,000 cases per year in England and Wales as a total and they usually manifest themselves in individuals, really one or two per week.

"The incubation of E. coli 157 is approximately a week, so if the first cases are just popping up in the last few days then it can be expected that we will get a few more cases in the coming days or week.

"It all depends how many people have visited or eaten at this particular source.

"If it is proven to be one particular source then it all depends on the numbers that have interacted with that source."

Anyone who is experiencing symptoms of E. coli is asked to contact their GP or NHS Direct Wales on 0845 4647 for advice.

  • In 2005, a five-year-old boy died and more than 150 people, mainly children, became ill in an E. coli outbreak which struck 44 schools in south Wales.

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