E. coli closes Carnoustie playgroup

Credit: Rocky Mountain Laboratories
Credit: Rocky Mountain Laboratories

NHS Tayside Health Protection Team and Angus Council are investigating linked cases of E. coli O157 infection affecting a small number of children in the Angus area.

Possible sources and routes of transmission are currently being investigated and necessary control measures have been put in place to prevent further spread.

Those affected cases continue to be monitored and have received appropriate medical treatment and advice.

As a precautionary measure, a playgroup in Angus, which is believed to be Peter Pan Playgroup in Carnoustie, has voluntarily closed temporarily while further investigations continue.

NHS Tayside’s Health Protection Team has also issued information to parents at the playgroup and an Angus primary school advising them of what action to take if they have concerns about their child’s health.

Consultant in public health medicine Dr Jackie Hyland said: “NHS Tayside and Angus Council are together investigating a small number of linked cases of E.coli O157 infection.

“The risk to the general public remains low and those affected have received appropriate medical treatment and advice.”

Escherichia coli (E. coli) is the name of a family of bacteria (germs) commonly found in farm animals and outdoor environments.

Some strains of E. coli are harmless; however, some types produce toxins that can cause illness in people.

Someone can become infected by consuming contaminated food or water, or by contact with other people who are infected, or with animals, for example at farms or zoos, carrying the bacteria.

Symptoms of E. coli O157 include diarrhoea – sometimes with blood, fever, stomach pain/cramps, 
nausea and/or vomiting and generally feeling/being unwell.

NHS Tayside advises that good hand hygiene is the best way of protecting yourself and your family against E. coli.