jueves, 22 de octubre de 2009

Last two E.coli children discharged from hospital

The final two children who remained in hospital following the E.coli outbreak at a Surrey farm have finally been allowed home, more than a month after the site was shut down by health officials.

(England, UK) The Health Protection Agency (HPA) said on Tuesday that the total number of E.coli cases linked to Godstone Farm still stood at 93, adding that "all children have been discharged from hospital".

The Health Protection Agency has disclosed that the first case with a possible link to the farm was reported to it on Aug 27. The probable earliest infection has been traced to August 8 and up to 60,000 people visited the farm between then and it finally being fully closed on Sept 12. At least 30,000 of those would have been children.

Richard Oatway, the farm’s manager, said he had complied with everything officials had asked him to do and would not reopen until given the all-clear. Experts who have inspected the farm still had “no idea” what the source of the outbreak was, he said. The infected animals are the most probable source of infection, because the children are in constant contact with them and all kind of surfaces that also has been touched by some animal.

The youngsters affected included three-year-old Alfie Weaver from Redhill, who was treated at East Surrey Hospital after suffering kidney failure as a result of contracting the bug.

The site closed on September 12, two weeks after the first case of E.coli was reported there.

A third out of 102 samples taken from animals were found to contain E.coli 0157, and the chief executive of the HPA, Justin McCracken, admitted the agency should have acted quicker in shutting the farm.

Families affected will be asked if they want to have their say during the probe, which will look at how Godstone Farm was being operated, according to the standards and guidance set for open farms, and the response to the outbreak from all relevant parties.

Legal action is also being planned by some parents of children who were left seriously ill. A spokesman for Godstone Farm said a decision on when the site will re-open could be made later this week.

Aporte: Gabriel I. Zeballos Romero

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