By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

The Department of Public Health Mid-West is reporting an outbreak of Verotoxigenic E. coli (VTEC) in a single setting of children in the Mid-West region of Ireland.

Health officials say they are managing the outbreak and it is under control.

Dr. Rose Fitzgerald, Specialist in Public Health Medicine at Public Health Mid-West said: “Ireland has one of the highest incidence rates of EHEC in Europe, and the Mid-West has one of highest incidence rates in Ireland”. “While the bacteria can last in the system for as short as a week, it can sometimes take several months to clear the infection.

“Anyone who is infected, or is a close contact of a case requires clearance from a public health doctor to attend healthcare, childcare, or work that involves food-handling,” Dr Fitzgerald added. “It is a serious disease that can cause serious life-changing illness in young children and the elderly, and it underpins the importance of hand hygiene before and after preparing food, after contact with farm animals and their environment, and effective treatment and rehabilitation of private wells.