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  1. ITV Report

Medics confirm E. coli cases on Isle of Wight

At least ten cases of the potentially deadly E. coli bug have been confirmed on the Isle of Wight. A four-year-old girl has suffered kidney failure as a result and she had to be treated in intensive care in Southampton.

Residents and visitors to the island are among those affected, but the source of the infection has not been confirmed.

Sally Simmonds met four-year-old Isla and her mother Lauren. Watch her report:

Four- year-old Isla has bounced back to health, although there may be long term implications for her kidneys.

Dr Anand Fernandes, a Consultant in Health Protection for Public Health England South East joined Fred and Sangeeta in the ITV Meridian studio to discuss E. coli and give advice for anyone concerned about the issue.

Here is what Dr Anand Fernandes had to say:

“We’re working with environmental health officers from Isle of Wight Council to liaise with those who have been unwell in order to help us identify the source of infection and prevent further spread of the infection.

“E.coli is a relatively common bug which can be easily picked up from touching animals or eating contaminated food. E.coli O157 is a particular strain of the bug and can cause a range of symptoms, from mild diarrhoea to severe abdominal pain and bloody diarrhoea and, on rare occasions, it can also cause more serious conditions. This is why we recommend people wash their hands thoroughly with soap and hot water and dry them after being near animals and before preparing or eating food. This is especially important if you have been ill with symptoms yourself, as people with the infection can pass it on to others by touching surfaces or food.

“Anyone who suspects they may have a diarrhoeal illness should drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration and if they have severe symptoms like bloody diarrhoea they should contact NHS 111 or their GP surgery.”

– Dr Anand Fernandes, Health protection consultant for Public Health England South East

The Isle of Wight Council also reminded people of the importance of washing their hands:

“The Isle of Wight Council continues to work closely with Public Health England to investigate these cases. We would like to remind people how important it is to follow advice around handwashing as well as hygienic meal preparation - such as keeping raw and ready to eat foods separate and ensuring that food is thoroughly cooked before eating.”

– Amanda Gregory, Strategic Manager for Regulatory and Community Safety Services, Isle of Wight Council