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Scottish E.coli outbreak kills one and infects four others

An outbreak of the 0157-strain of E.coli linked to two Scottish supermarkets has killed one woman and left her husband seriously ill in hospital

An outbreak of the 0157-strain of E.coli linked to two Scottish supermarkets has killed one woman and left her husband seriously ill in hospital.

Three other women are recovering at home while another is in hospital after contracting the potentially lethal strain, according to the National Health Service of Greater Glasgow and Clyde.

An investigation is focusing on two Morrisons supermarkets in the town of Paisley, near Glasgow. The source of the bacteria is believed to have originated from sliced cold meats bought from the delicatessen counters.

Samples and swabs taken from the stores were being tested, with the results expected later in the week. No other cases have been reported elsewhere.

Morrisons, which is Britain's fourth-biggest supermarket chain, said it was "deeply saddened" to hear that an elderly woman had died and others were ill.

A spokesperson for Morrisons said: "We are currently working closely with the authorities and although the full facts are not yet known, we have, as a precautionary measure, withdrawn sliced cold meat products from sale at the delicatessen counters of two stores in Paisley. We advise anyone who has bought sliced cold meat products locally from the delicatessen counters in these two stores not to consume them."

The same strain of E.coli killed 21 elderly people in Wishaw, near Glasgow, in 1996.

Although certain antibiotics reduce the symptoms of gastroenteritis associated with E.coli infection, there is no evidence that antibiotics prevent the development of complications. Infection can lead to haemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS), a life-threatening condition usually treated in an intensive care unit.

15th August 2007

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