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Girl dies after E.coli infection

An eight-year-old girl has died after contracting an E.coli infection.

NHS Ayrshire and Arran said the child was from East Ayrshire but was being treated in the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Glasgow after contracting the E.coli O157 strain.

The health board said it has not identified the source of the infection but it does not believe the case is part of an outbreak.

Dr Jane Cooper, consultant in public health medicine, said: "Our thoughts are with the family during this very difficult time. Sometimes it is possible to identify a particular source of E.coli O157 infection. An outbreak may occur if a number of people are exposed to the same source.

"NHS Ayrshire & Arran is satisfied that this case is not part of an outbreak, and has not identified a particular source which might represent a risk to others.

"E.coli O157 infection is very easily picked up and sometimes investigations cannot identify either a particular source, or any way in which the risk of infection could have been avoided."

Symptoms normally develop after ingesting contaminated foods or liquids or having been in contact with infected animals. Infected cases often develop a fever leading to sickness and diarrhoea.

The health board has issued precautions which can be taken to reduce the risk of infection, including washing hands after contact with possible sources such as raw food and milk and animal faeces.

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