Galway creche temporarily closed after outbreak of Ecoli
Seven children identified with bug, two have been hospitalised
The HSE said, Vtec, a bug found in ill children in a Galway creche, can spread through contact with infected animals, contaminated soil, water or certain foods.
A creche in Co Galway has closed temporarily after an outbreak of an Ecoli bug that resulted in the hospitalisation of two children.
The HSE had recently warned of an increase in cases of a type of Ecoli called Verotoxigenic Escherichia coli, or Vtec.
It gives children a serious form of gastroenteritis that can cause diarrhoea which may be bloody, vomiting, nausea, and high temperature.
“Vtec can spread in a number of ways including contact with infected animals, contaminated soil, water or certain foods, and can be spread among toddlers who are not toilet trained,” the HSE said.
Three children from the Galway creche were last week diagnosed with the bug. The HSE said two of these children are currently in hospital.
Four further cases were identified this week when the HSE’s Outbreak Control Team started its investigation, which involved taking stool samples from all of the staff and children for testing.
The majority of cases of Vtec get better with no treatment and without hospitalisation. However the most serious complication is Haemolytic Uraemic Syndrome or HUS which occurs in up to ten per cent of Vtec cases.
This can lead to anaemia and kidney failure and requires intensive medical treatment.
Children and staff at the Galway creche will not be allowed to return to the crèche until they have had two samples showing the bug is gone.
“Children or staff who have Vtec bacteria in their stool will not be allowed back into crèches or other child-minding centres until they are free of infection because of the risk of infecting others,” the HSE said.