Sunday, 16 August 2009

E. coli cases after Welsh dance camp - advice from NHS

The Dance Camp Wales at Cresselly, Pembrokeshire, ran from July 29 to August 9 and
an 11-year-old girl from the West Midlands has been hospitalised. A 7-year-old Denbighshire girl is recovering at home.

NPHS advises anyone who attended the event and who is experiencing symptoms that may be associated with E.coli 0157 infection should contact their GP or Out of Hours Service for medical advice as a matter of urgency.
They should also contact Pembrokeshire County Council’s Public Protection Department on 01437 764551 (between 10am and 6pm on weekends and between 8am and 6pm on weekdays) or email

E. coli O157 is a serious bacterial infection, symptoms range from mild diarrhoea, stomach cramps and fever to bloody diarrhoea. While most people recover without complications the most severe cases can cause kidney failure.

Dr Jörg Hoffmann, Consultant in Communicable Disease Control for the NPHS, said: "People can become infected with E. coli O157 by direct or indirect contact with animal faeces, particularly on farms and sites used for camping, and swimming in or drinking unchlorinated water. The illness can also be associated with contact with an infected person or from eating contaminated food.

"We are therefore urging anyone who attended the event who is now having, or has recovered from, symptoms associated with E. coli infection to observe strict personal hygiene to prevent further spread of the illness within the family.

"People should wash and dry their hands thoroughly after going to the toilet and before preparing or eating food. Parents of small children should supervise young children whilst washing their hands. Disinfecting all areas of the bathroom regularly, including hard surfaces and toilet and door handles, can also help limit the risk of further infection."

The incubation period ranges from one to 14 days, but is generally three or four days. The illness usually lasts for two weeks.

The organisers of Dance Camp Wales are working closely with Pembrokeshire County Council’s Public Protection Department and the NPHS to contact everyone who attended the event.

Photograph: Wikimedia/United States Department of Health and Human Services.


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