Further cases of E. coli confirmed following major nursery outbreak

An investigation into the outbreak is under way after five cases were confirmed at a facility in South Lanarkshire.

Further cases of E.c oli confirmed in South Lanarkshire following major nursery outbreak in East Lothian iStock

An investigation is under way after a number of cases of E. coli were identified at a nursery in South Lanarkshire.

NHS Lanarkshire, alongside South Lanarkshire Council and Public Health Scotland, are investigating four cases of the infection linked to a local nursery in Biggar, with a fifth having close links to one of the other cases.

All children and staff at the nursery, which the health board is not naming, have been tested.

It comes after a break out of cases in East Lothian in August saw four nurseries forced to close after nearly 50 infections.

Dr Alison Smith-Palmer, NHS Lanarkshire consultant in public health, said: “So far, testing has identified five confirmed cases; four attend a local nursery and the fifth has close links to one of the other cases. All children and staff at the nursery have been tested.

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“To respect and maintain confidentiality, further information about the cases is not being released.

“We are asking people in the local area to be alert for any symptoms they, or a child they look after, may have.

“Anyone who has developed symptoms of E.coli infection should seek medical attention as specific tests are required to diagnose the infection, which can mimic other illnesses.

“Anyone who develops symptoms should contact their GP practice, or NHS24 on 111 when the GP practice is closed.

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“This is crucial to help contain the infection and stop its spread within the community. Also, washing hands with soap and water is the best way to stop this bug from spreading.”

E. coli is a bacterial infection that causes illness in people. The symptoms range from mild loose stools to severe bloody diarrhoea.

The most serious complications can lead to blood poisoning and kidney failure.

The outbreak in East Lothian comes after research revealed dangerous pathogens including norovirus and E.coli “colonise” plastic waste washing up on Scottish beaches long enough to cause harm to swimmers.

There is no specific treatment for the infection and most people who are infected get better without medical treatment. However, those who have symptoms, or are concerned, are advised to contact their GP or NHS 24 on telephone number 111.