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The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has issued a warning that there is a UK wide outbreak of E. coli linked to “multiple food items” which is seeing people being admitted to hospital.

Genome sequencing of samples is suggesting that most of the 113 cases that has been reported since 25 May is “part of a single outbreak.”

The UKHSA said in a statement, “Based on the wide geographic spread of cases, it is most likely that this outbreak is linked to a nationally distributed food item or multiple food items.”

There has been 81 cases in England, 18 in Wales, 13 in Scotland and one person in Northern Ireland, all cases recorded involve the Shiga toxin-producing E. coli 0145 (Stec).

The majority of cases recorded are in young adults and the age range is from 2-years old to 79.

Out of the 81 of people identified in England 61 has given information to the UKHSA which relates to travel, food and potentially have been exposed.

Those infected can suffer with diarrhoea, stomach cramps, fever and around 50% pf cases can have blood in their diarrhoea.

Darren Whitby, head of incidents and resilience at the Food Standards Agency (FSA), said, “The FSA is working with UKHSA and relevant public health bodies to identify the source of the illness, which is likely to be linked to one or more food items.

We always advise consumers and those looking after vulnerable people to ensure good hygiene practices are followed when handling and preparing food, regularly washing hands with soap and warm water and ensuring equipment, utensils and surfaces foods come into contact with are cleaned thoroughly to prevent cross contamination.

“You should not prepare food for others if you have had symptoms, or for 48 hours after symptoms stop.”

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