Five people were part of a national E. coli O157 outbreak in England earlier this year.

Of five laboratory confirmed infections from Shiga toxin producing E. coli O157 phage type 2, two people developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure associated with E. coli infection, which led to hospitalization.

No food was identified as the source during the investigation into common food exposures of patients and food histories in the likely incubation period.

A Public Health England spokeswoman told Food Safety News the outbreak had ended but refused to clarify if any deaths had been reported due to the small number of patients involved.

“This outbreak is now over. The first date of onset was May 4 and last date of onset May 12, 2019. No food source was identified and so no specific advice could be given,” she said.

In 2018, 11, or 2 percent, of confirmed STEC O157 cases were typed as phage type (PT) 2.

Symptoms of STEC include abdominal cramps and diarrhea that can become bloody. Fever and vomiting may also occur. The incubation period can range from three to eight days and most patients recover within 10 days.

Outbreaks from April to June

Meanwhile, norovirus was responsible for six outbreaks of foodborne illness in England and Wales reported to Public Health England from the start of April to the end of June.

No food was identified in the largest outbreak that affected 56 people in Thames Valley. Pasta, pie or salad was the suspected vehicle in another outbreak in Thames Valley which affected 31 people.

The source was not found for two norovirus genotype 2 outbreaks in North East England. One incident led to 22 illnesses and 17 people were sick in the other outbreak.

In two other outbreaks in the North East, a food source was suspected. In one, Mexican – burrito-style wraps with mixture of fillings, sauces and accompaniments were thought to be responsible for 13 illnesses and Chinese meals were believed to be the source as 19 people fell ill.

Diarrhetic Shellfish Poisoning from mussels was responsible for 13 illnesses, of which four were lab confirmed, in South West England.

This compares to four norovirus outbreaks with a combined total of 99 illnesses and 52 sick in two Clostridium perfringens outbreaks of foodborne illness in England and Wales from the start of January to end of March this year.

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