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Update Statement on E.coli O157 Cases

August 14, 2007 11:08 AM

Following the media publicity about this outbreak colleagues in the Republic of Ireland have, this afternoon, reported a newly confirmed case of E coli O157 infection linked to the Paisley investigation.

The woman, who has been hospitalised while on holiday in Ireland, is from Paisley and consumed cold meats purchased from the delicatessen counter of one of the Morrisons stores involved around two weeks ago.

This is the only new confirmed case since yesterday.

Efforts to identify a source of the infection continue to be a key priority of the Outbreak Control Team.

Environmental Health Officers from Renfrewshire Council have been carrying out investigations in both the Morrisons' Lonend and Falside Road branches.

They have already taken extensive samples and swabs from both sites and these are now with the appropriate labs for a series of complex analytical tests. We anticipate having the results by the end of this week.

In addition the lines of the food chain supply are being thoroughly investigated.

Environmental Health Officers are also interviewing all Morrison's staff who may have had contact with the two delicatessen counters and this process is on-going. Where appropriate screening of staff is being arranged.

Public Health Protection Unit experts have also re-interviewed confirmed cases to ensure that all possible common sources for the outbreak can be followed-up.

Morrisons have been cooperating fully with these investigations and have offered their full assistance.

While there is still no conclusive evidence, we believe that cold cooked meats from these two Morrison's stores are still the most likely vehicles of infection and no other food, from Morrison's or elsewhere, has been implicated so far.

For further information contact 0141 201 4429.

Tuesday 14th August (afternoon)
The Outbreak Control Team reconvenes at 2pm today and an update will be provided at a press conference scheduled for 4.40pm at Dalian House, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde's board headquarters.

Tuesday 14th August (morning)
Environmental Health Officers from Renfrewshire Council continue their investigations into the outbreak, including visits to the two Morrisons stores and continued close contact with the families affected.

The Outbreak Control Team then immediately alerts the public to the possibility of a link. The public is advised not to consume the food identified. Information and advice is provided, and anyone who may be showing symptoms is advised to contact their GP or NHS24.

Contact is made at once with Morrisons and the supermarket is asked to stop selling the possibly affected products. Morrisons co-operate completely with the OCT. Both stores had already closed for the evening but Morrisons agree that when the stores open the following morning, the delicatessen counters would remain closed.

The Outbreak Control Team contacted the Food Standards Agency to establish if there had been any other reported cases or clusters of cases anywhere else in the UK with any connection to a Morrisons outlet. The OCT is advised that there are no such other cases.

Monday 13th August (evening)
The Outbreak Control Team determines that, while there is no conclusive evidence, there may be a possible link to the consumption of some sliced cold meats bought locally from the delicatessen counters of two Morrisons supermarkets in Paisley, the Lonend store
and the Falside Road store.

Monday 13th August (afternoon)
An Outbreak Control Team meeting is convened at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde's headquarters to investigate the outbreak. The OCT reviews all available information in a meeting lasting several hours.

Monday 13th August (morning)
Two further individual cases from the same area of Paisley are notified to the PHPU. Immediately after this notification, the PHPU begins interviewing the new individuals concerned and their families. An Outbreak Control Team meeting is called for Monday afternoon, which will - among its other tasks - examine the information gathered from this process. The Outbreak Control Team includes members of the PHPU, Renfrewshire Council's Environmental Health Department and Health Protection Scotland.

Weekend (Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th August)
Over the course of the weekend, staff from the PHPU continued their investigations into these two apparently unrelated cases. During this time, E.coli O157 is confirmed in the relatives who began to show symptoms on Friday. However, at this stage there was no single clear link between these families. A range of different possibilities was being investigated as to the possible cause of infection.

Friday 10th August 
Two apparently unrelated cases of E.coli O157 are notified to NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde's Public Health Protection Unit. This is not unusual, as it is not uncommon to find isolated cases of E.coli O157 at this time of year. Relatives of both these individuals begin to show symptoms.

OUTBREAK TIMELINE

Notes to Editors


ENDS

Anyone who has consumed sliced cold meats purchased from the delicatessen counters at either of these stores in the past couple of weeks and who is experiencing symptoms including stomach cramps, diarrhoea (often bloody), nausea and fever should contact a GP or NHS 24 (08454 242424) in the first instance.

One of hospitalised patients is showing encouraging signs of improvement at the RAH and the other patient remains serious but stable in the Victoria Infirmary.


The Outbreak Control Team will meet again tomorrow afternoon, following which there will be a further update.

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