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E-coli outbreak forces closure of Limerick creche

The HSE said it hoped the childminding facility could reopen soon.
Oct 18th 2011, 1:47 PM 820 1

A CRECHE IN Limerick has had to be closed after an outbreak of E-coli which infected a number of children, according to the Health Service Executive (HSE).

Fewer than ten children were infected but a number of linked cases have been identified and the HSE said in a statement that management had agreed to close the creche to allow screening of all children and staff there for E-coli 026, or VTEC.

The HSE said it was satisfied that the creche was fully compliant with pre-school standards.

Over 200 cases of VTEC were reported in Ireland in 2010. The infection often causes severe bloody diarrhoea and abdominal cramps.

The incidence of VTEC has increased in Ireland in recent years and rates of this infection are higher than average in the Mid-West and the other Western counties, according to the HSE, which advises householders who use water from private wells to properly maintain them.

Children from the creche will not be able to attend any other child care facilities until they have been given medical cleared and the HSE said it was hoped that the facility would be able to reopen soon.

The Department of Public Health said that it was up to employers to facilitate parents while they are unable to avail of the childminding facilities.

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Hugh O'Connell

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