An inadequate standard of hand hygiene is the most likely reason for the spread of E.coli at a nursery in Aberdeenshire, say health experts.
Three babies were taken to the hospital in Aberdeen following the outbreak at Rose Lodge Nursery in Aboyne last month.
In total, there were seven confirmed cases of the illness stemming from the Deeside nursery.
The outbreak prompted an investigation by the NHS Grampian Health Protection Team and Aberdeenshire Council Environmental Health Department which found that the infection was most likely introduced into the nursery by a child and spread by “staff having failed to maintain an adequate standard of hand hygiene”.
A spokesman for the NHS said: “The investigation indicates this child did not have any diarrhoeal symptoms while in the nursery, but may have been excreting E.coli O157 bacteria in its faeces for a number of days, before developing symptoms. The child became obviously unwell at home and did not attend the nursery again until fully recovered.
“The investigation has shown that the E.coli O157 bacteria infecting this child was transmitted to three children and two adults attending the baby room within the nursery.
“The investigation team has concluded that the most probable transmission route for the infection was through nursery staff having failed to maintain an adequate standard of hand hygiene in the baby room.”
He said that nursery management had cooperated fully with the investigation and made improvements in response to NHS advice.
“There were no new cases of E.coli O157 infection in those attending the nursery after control measures were put in place by the investigating team,” he added.
The investigation also found that the third adult was most likely infected “through close contact with one of the cases”.
He added that a full report of the investigation will be compiled over the next few weeks.
One child remains in hospital following the outbreak.
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