E.coli tragedy claims life of two Charnwood children
TWO children from the same family have died after contracting E.coli.
Public Health England (PHE) confirmed that the two children were siblings and from the Charnwood area.
The children both had hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS), which is a complication of E.coli affecting the kidneys.
It is understood that they were treated in the past two weeks.
A spokeswoman for PHE said: “Very sadly, both of the children have died and our thoughts are with the family at this extremely difficult time.”
She could not confirm the ages of the children or where the infection originated from, but said PHE hopes to know more by this time next week about where the pair contracted the disease.
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.” Environmental health officers from Charnwood Borough Council are working with PHE following the confirmation of the cases.
A spokesperson for the council, which covers an area with a population of about 180,000, taking in Loughborough and towns such as Shepshed, Sytson, Birstall and Thurmaston, said it was working closely with PHE.
“Environmental health officers are aware of the situation and, at this stage, have been involved in taking out sample kits to the property at the request of Public Health England.
“Clearly our thoughts are with the family at this sad time.”
PHE advice states: “People can be reassured that E.coli is a relatively rare infection.
“Good hand hygiene for all and supervised hand hygiene for small children is essential to minimise the risk of developing an infection such as e.coli.”