E.Coli Outbreak On A Farm

Firstly the scenario for this evenings case…

The premise is as follows:

•2 adults and 3 children with suspected E. coli O157 infection.
•All exhibited bloody diarrhoea
•All had visited Clearwater open farm in the last two weeks.
•Environmental Health Officer visited the farm and took photos.
•Outbreak Management Team convened comprising:
•Public health medic
•Environmental Health Officer
•Local government official
•Health and Safety Executive representative
We will be discussing:
•How can vets and medics work together to control this situation?

And we thought

Sop we’ve got a team together, now we need to look at what to do!

So we decide to close the farm, but how do we identify #O157 in farm animals

 And more importantly what are the signs we expect to see in people?


Who is at risk of catching #O157


So the clinical signs in people are pretty bad, and children that visit petting farms are particularly high risk. Farm workers are at risk, but its lower- they are constantly exposed to the animals so have built up some resistance, also their immune systems are better than childrens.

So there are no clinical signs of #0157 in animals, but pretty severe ones in people. So how do we go about investigating this then?!

So we could do typing, but this takes a while & lots of people could be ill by then!
And shedding of E.coli in faeces isn’t consistent so a negative culture doesn’t mean its not present

So we probably need to put some measures in place, and it looks like the medics are more concerned about stopping people getting ill than who is shedding!

So what aspects of the farm can we look at?


So what if this is our farm?

So stopping the spread with good hygiene seems to be the way forward with this.

But other factors we might want to control are wild animals

So it turns out that education is much more important than individual animal treatment for these outbreaks, and HAND WASHING appears to be the way forward. Remember E.coli is everywhere!

So the risks for E.coli infection are..


Thankyou for everyone taking part tonight, its been a pretty lengthy process to storify this one- but some really useful VPH revision for #y4rev, #vetfinals and hopefully useful for you medics out there too. And a note to end on