E coli infection killed two children from same family, health officials reveal

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Two children from the same family have died after they contracted E.coli from an unknown source.

The identities and ages of the children have not been revealed, but investigations are taking place to find out how they contracted it. They are believed to be from the Charnwood area of the East Midlands as the local borough council is working with Public Health England services.

PHE confirmed the two cases of hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS) and said that their thoughts are with the children’s family. Dr Lauren Ahyow, consultant in communicable disease control at PHE East Midlands, said:

‘E.coli is an infection that causes a spectrum of illness ranging from mild through to severe bloody diarrhoea, mostly without fever.

‘Sometimes the infection can cause a condition called haemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS) which affects the kidneys and can be very serious. ‘Young children and elderly people are more prone to development of complications associated with E.coli.

‘E.coli can be acquired through a number of routes including contaminated food, contact with farm animals and infected water. ‘PHE are working with partners to investigate further to try and determine a source of infection.’

The body said people can be reassured E.coli is a relatively rare infection, adding that good hand hygiene and supervised hand hygiene for small children is essential to minimise the risk of developing an infection such as E.coli.

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