E coli outbreak under control in mid-west

Public health officials say that an outbreak of a powerful strain of E. coli is “currently under control” in the mid-west region.

The Department of Public Health Mid-West has issued a statement about the bacterium that can cause serious illness in the elderly and among children aged under five.

The strain of E. coli in question is called ‘VTEC’, an outbreak of which has occurred among young children in a single setting in the mid-west.

The most common ways to be infected with VTEC are through contact with farm animals, untreated water from private wells, person to person contact among children under five, as well as through food and drink contaminated with tiny amounts of faecal matter.

The bacterium can be a source of food poisoning, causing inflammation of the bowel and further digestive problems.

Officials are reassuring the public however that VTEC is usually uncomplicated and most people recover without issue.

Public Health Mid-West say the outbreak in question is under control, but are highlighting the importance of strong hand hygiene and effective well water treatment.