E.coli O157 & Haemolytic Uraemic Syndrome

Dublin reports 118% increase in farm related E.coli during 2012

14th December 2012

Ireland's Food Safety Authority has reported a 118% increase in cases of farm related E.coli in the last year. There were 251 cases in 2011 but this rose to 547 in 2012. Most of these occurred in rural areas and almost half occurred in children under five years of age.

Chief Executive, Prof Alan Reilly expressed his concern at the increase and said farmers had a critical role to play in reducing risk of infection.

"Because their immune systems are still developing, babies and young children are most at risk of becoming seriously ill from this infection," he said. "It can be easily spread to others such as their siblings or other children in their creche or at their childminders."

Prof Reilly said it was vital to wash children’s hands after playing on the farm.

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