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Insight

E-coli outbreak in Dorset - update

The Bournemouth Echo has reported on how the investigation into the outbreak of E Coli in Dorset has not yet identified the source of the outbreak, although investigations appear to have narrowed down to a number of potential sources. It also mentions how it is not clear what and when the local council knew about the outbreak. This comes after Blandford Nursery at last shut its doors after pre-school children were hit by E Coli last week. Reports say that there are now 11 victims of the outbreak in Dorset including 5 children. A number of the victims have been affected by a kidney problem known as haemolytic uraemic syndrome.

The best protection against contracting E coli 0157 is to use an alcohol hand gel in addition to using soap and water when washing your hands.

Fieldfisher have had extensive dealings with e-coli cases and the potential devastating consequences. It was only at the start of May that we saw a resolution to the cases that resulted from the E. Coli outbreak at Godstone Farm, which resulted in some 93 people being exposed to the bacteria. Fieldfisher fought for substantial settlements for all children and, importantly, settled the cases for the most seriously injured children on a provisional basis which allows them to return to court should they suffer further illness and in particular renal failure.

Jill Greenfield, partner with Fieldfisher says: " I strongly suspect that finding the key source is critical to all of this. E Coli has many phage types (basically the DNA) and that means that if all those involved have same phenotype then they have more likely than not have the same source."

"It is a tricky bacteria to track down and there and there can be real problems finding it but those involved are not able to rely on the public health authority, they will and always do have a duty to eradicate this bacteria under the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations, (COSHH)."