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E.coli bacteria: resurgence of cases of contamination, a second child died

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A second child has died in the context of the resurgence of cases of serious contamination with the E. coli bacterium reported since the beginning of February, announced Saturday the public health agency France, which insists on “the prevention of food risks”. As of March 11, 2022, 26 cases of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) “linked to E.coli bacteria with similar characteristics have been identified” in children ages 1 to 15 and “two children have died,” Health said. public France in a press release.

“22 additional cases are under investigation”

Public Health France, the National Reference Center (CNR), Escherichia coli (Institut Pasteur), the Directorate General for Food, the Directorate General for Competition, Consumption and the Repression of Fraud (DGCCRF), in coordination with the General Directorate of Health, “continue the investigations on all the cases of pediatric HUS reported since January 1, 2022 on the national territory in order to identify a possible source of common contamination and to put in place the appropriate measures ( for example withdrawal-recalls of incriminated products)”, indicates the press release.

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But “at this stage, the epidemiological investigation has not made it possible to incriminate a particular source of contamination”, which is why “the health authorities are renewing the general recommendations for the prevention of food risks, in particular in children under the age of 16 years old” and the elderly.

A recommendation: systematic hand washing

Among these recommendations: hand washing must be systematic before meal preparation, meat, especially minced beef, must be thoroughly cooked and raw milk, cheeses made from raw milk and dairy products made from raw milk should not be consumed by children under 5 years of age.

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The recommendations also concern flour-based preparations (pizza/cookie dough/cake/pie, etc.) which should not be eaten raw or undercooked. Vegetables, salads, fruits, herbs must be thoroughly washed before consumption, as must kitchen utensils (especially when they have previously been in contact with raw foods) and work surfaces.

In addition, children should not drink untreated water (well water, torrent, etc.) and contact of very young children (under 5 years old) with cows, calves, sheep, goats, etc. should be avoided. fallow deer, etc., and their environment. In the event of contact with these animals, hand washing must be systematic, recalls Public Health France.

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