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NHS Grampian Health Protection Team

News Highlights

 

E.coli 0157 outbreak update 

14 Sep 2016  

The multi-agency incident management team chaired by the health protection Scotland has been investigating an outbreak of the same strain of E. coli 0157. 20 confirmed cases of this strain have been identified. 11 of the cases have been confirmed to have received hospital care at some point during their illness and unfortunately, a child has died.

All confirmed cases became unwell prior to the end of July and as there are no new confirmed cases, the incident management team will now stand down and work towards producing its final report, which may take up to six month. 

Food standard Scotland and Lanarkshire council will now continue to work with food business operators.

People can become infected or unwell with E.coli 0157 infection after eating food or drinking water contaminated with the faeces of infected animals or from contact with the animals or their environment.  

Symptoms associated with E. coli 0157 can include stomach cramps, diarrhoea (often bloody), vomiting and occasionally fever. Anyone developing symptoms including bloody diarrhoea should contact their GP for advise.  

 Vulnerable groups including pregnant women, children and elderly should not unpasteurized milk or diary products such as cheese made from unpasteurized milk because of the increased risk of food poisoning.

Advise on food safety and hygiene can be found on the food standard Scotland website .

  

ZIKA VIRUS INFECTION  

Background 

Discovered opportunistically in Monkeys in Uganda. Zika virus (ZIKV) is a flavivirus, which relatively cause a mild disease. The virus is transmitted by mosquitoes of genus aedes, responsible for causing yellow fever and dengue fever. The first time zika virus was transmitted outside of Africa and Asia was in 2007 outbreak at the Yap Island, in the federated state of Micronesia. In 2013, a further outbreak was reported in the French Polynesia, which continued into 2014 and in which the first cases of possible perinatal transmission and Gullain-Barre syndrome (GBS) were reported. Further outbreak in the Pacific Island were reported in 2014 and 2015.

 In 2015, the first outbreaks were reported in the South and Central America. In May 2015, zika virus was then suspected and confirmed in the North East of Brazil. Other parts of Brazil soon report news of outbreaks and so did other countries within the region. Further cases were also reported from the Caribbean Islands.  

Countries/territories/areas are assigned into category of risk of zika virus transmission as determined by the data provided by ECDC. Since early 2015, ZIKV has been reported in twenty Brazilian states with estimates of cases ranging from 440,000 to 1.3million by late 2015. The cases with greater concern are reports of developmental defects including microcephaly among babies in Brazil. These cases were reported in the North East of Brazil where zika is prevalence and there is now strong evidence of causation between zika and neurodevelopmental defects, causing WHO to declare these defects as a public health emergency. 

Advice for the travelling public can be found the fit for travel website for countries/areas/territories with all categories of risk. 

Prevention 

There is no medicine or vaccine available that prevents ZIKV infection.  

The most effective way to avoid infection is to prevent mosquito bites by using insect repellents and wearing the appropriate clothing. 

Abstaining or using condoms to reduce the transmission of ZIKV infection during conception or pregnancy.