Tell us where deadly E.coli bug struck
ALMOST 70 people have been tested for E.coli since an outbreak began in North Wales.
The figure was revealed as it emerged the Conwy childcare providers hit by the potentially deadly bug have now reopened.
Three children in the county were suffering from the bug but are now said to be recovering well.
Cllr Phil Edwards, Conwy’s cabinet member for housing, social care and health, called for Public Health Wales (PHW) to be more open about where the outbreak was in order to reassure the public.
Dr Chris Whiteside, PHW’s consultant in communicable disease control, said last Friday: “So far, 69 individuals have received negative results and no further cases of E.coli O157 have been identified.
“Public Health Wales and Conwy County Borough Council can confirm that the childcare settings which closed voluntarily whilst screening for E.coli O157 was carried out have re-opened.
“There is no suggestion that the infection has been transmitted within those settings, so the establishments have reopened.
“The three confirmed cases are recovering at home and will not return to the childcare settings until testing confirms they are clear of the infection.”
PHW says “all relevant staff and children” have been screened for the infection as a precaution.
Dr Whiteside added: “It is not uncommon for outbreaks of E.coli O157 to be associated with children having contact with farm animals. The infection can also be contracted by eating contaminated food or drinking unpasteurised milk.”
Dr Whiteside described E.coli 0157 as a “very serious infection” which causes severe diarrhoea, abdominal cramps and fever. He said the infection can cause kidney failure in children which can prove fatal.
Cllr Edwards said: “I have written to Public Health Wales asking them to reconsider their current position and to provide reassurance to those areas of Conwy not affected by this outbreak.
“I hold the view that it is better to have these issues out in the open in order to contain the situation and prevent the spread of wider alarm.”
But he stressed that patients must remain anonymous, adding: “Clearly, public bodies need to protect individuals involved.
“At the same time as safeguarding them from unwelcome intrusion, there is a wider need to balance this with providing reassurance to the areas that are not affected. At the moment, we do not know which areas are and which areas are not affected.”
Numerous childcare providers told the Daily Post that they would like to know where the outbreak was.
But a PHW spokeswoman said letters have been sent to anyone affected.