Five New Cases of E. Coli Infection

E. coli bacteria.

E. coli bacteria. Photo/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

Vala Hafstað

mbl.is

Over the weekend, five children in Iceland were diagnosed with E. coli bacterial infection. Previously, four children had been diagnosed, two of whom were admitted to Landspítali National University Hospital with kidney failure. One of those children was discharged on Friday.

“Fortunately, the ones diagnosed over the weekend are not seriously ill.,” epidemiologist Þórólfur Guðnason tells Vísir. They do not have serious symptoms, but they will continue to be monitored, and we will see how this develops. The other ones who were diagnosed are recovering, and one child remains hospitalized.”

According to Þórólfur, all nine children live in the capital area, but have traveled to Bláskógabyggð municipality, Southwest Iceland, in recent weeks. The source of the infection is still being sought.

Þórólfur Guðnason, epidemiologist.

Þórólfur Guðnason, epidemiologist.

“We still have to sift through information regarding the new cases that came up over the weekend,” he notes and adds that by using epidemiological information, attempts are being made to pinpoint the sites where the infection is the likeliest to have occurred. He notes it’s too early to tell whether the source of the infection is in food or water.

According to mbl.is, E. coli bacteria can be transmitted through the consumption of contaminated food or water, or through contact with animals.

Þórólfur stresses there is no reason to stay away from this part of the country. “People just have to think about hygiene and about cooking their food well, as they always should do, regardless of where in the country they live,”  he concludes.

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