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SALMONELLA UPDATE

August 27, 2003 8:35 AM

The three suspected Scottish cases of Salmonella Bareilly in Scotland have been confirmed bringing the number of cases in Scotland since August 5th to 17.

Five suspected cases in England and Wales have also been confirmed tonight bringing the total of confirmed cases there to 22.

The investigation to identify the source of this unusual form of Salmonella continues with no evidence as yet of any common source.

The UK investigation teams are working in close collaboration.

Public Health agencies from the areas with confirmed cases of Salmonella Bareilly are assisting the investigation, which is being led by the Scottish Centre for Infection and Environmental Health (SCIEH).

There are more than 2,500 different types of Salmonella and in the UK last year there were around 15,000 confirmed cases. This outbreak is unusual in that there were only around 40 cases of Salmonella Bareilly in the whole of 2002 in the UK - many of which were acquired abroad.

Dr John Cowden, Chairman of the investigation team, said: "While only three cases were confirmed in Scotland today it is too soon to say whether the outbreak is declining, so the outbreak control team is continuing to make every effort to establish the cause.

This form of Salmonella is rare but no more serious than other types. It can cause diarrhoea, vomiting and fever. For most people it is an unpleasant rather than a dangerous illness.

The NHS board areas in Scotland with confirmed cases are: Lothian (5), Grampian (3), Greater Glasgow (3), Lanarkshire (1) Ayrshire and Arran (2), Fife (1), Tayside (1), Argyll and Clyde (1)

The NHS regions in England and Wales with confirmed cases are: North East (2), Yorkshire and Humber (1), East Midlands (2), West Midlands (2), Wales (5), Eastern (1), South West (2), London (1) and South East (5), North West (1).

Dr Cowden added: "While we cannot give out any specific advice to the public of how to avoid coming into contact with this type of  Salmonella,  I can advise that Salmonella is usually spread by undercooked food or poor hygiene. Taking care while preparing food and hand washing are effective defences. Meanwhile, our investigations continue."

Media inquiries to:

Ally McLaws 07779 350727

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