UK: Search for E.coli dance campers

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A council says it has tracked down about 100 of the 650 people who attended a dance camp in Pembrokeshire where two girls contracted E.coli.

Environmental health officials are in the process of contacting the remaining 550 via letters, e-mails, phoning and social networking website Facebook.

The outbreak's source is being probed after an 11-year-old from the West Midlands was taken to hospital.

A seven-year-old from Denbighshire is at home recovering.

Both had attended Dance Camp Wales in Cresselly, which ran between 29 July and 9 August.

The camp's organisers said people from across the UK and Europe were being contacted to see if there are more cases.


The National Public Health Service for Wales (NPHS) said they were helping them and Pembrokeshire council try to get in touch with as many people as possible.

A spokeswoman said they had turned to Facebook because the event has its own group on the website.

"There were around 650 people who attended and we are sending letters out first thing Monday morning," she said.

"We are also using Facebook, e-mails and phone calls to try to get hold of people as soon as possible."

Jeff Beynon, who is food, safety and port manager for Pembrokeshire council said around 100 people who attended the camp had been contacted over the weekend. only two cases, it's very difficult to find a common cause

John Bilsborough, Dance Camp Wales

He said officers would continue contacting the remaining people. They were also looking to try and pinpoint the source of the infection.

However, because E.coli can be acquired from a wide range of sources, this was proving to be problematic, he said.

Risk factors include direct or indirect contact with animals or their faeces, bathing in contaminated water, person to person transmission and infection from food.

"We are trying to keep all our options open. We are not ruling out any possible source," said Mr Beynon.

John Bilsborough, who helps run the camp, said about a third of those there were children.

He said there had never been any previous health problems in the 24 years the 10-day event has been running.

"The environmental health people are getting in touch with everybody who was at the camp to see if there any more cases," he said.

"With only two cases, it's very difficult to find a common cause.

"If they find they were camping together or came together or were swimming in the estuary together, they might have something to go on."


The NPHS said the 11-year-old girl is not in intensive care in hospital.

It said anyone who attend the dance camp and is experiencing symptoms that may be associated with E.coli O157 infection should contact their GP or out of hours service for medical advice as a matter of urgency.

The serious bacterial infection causes abdominal pain and diarrhoea and symptoms range from mild diarrhoea, stomach cramps and fever to bloody diarrhoea.

Most people recover without complications, but the most severe cases can develop kidney failure.

• The latest E.coli cases come after an outbreak of the bug in Wrexham three weeks ago, which left four people ill.

Karen Morrisroe-Clutton, 32, remains seriously ill in hospital but is out of a medically-induced coma.

Abigail Hennessey, three, was in hospital for two weeks and had dialysis for five days, but is now "doing well".

The Llay Fish Bar, in Llay, is closed while an investigation to pinpoint a possible source continues.

Dr Jörg Hoffmann, consultant in communicable disease control for the NPHS, said people could become infected with E.coli O157 by direct or indirect contact with animal faeces, particularly on farms and sites used for camping, and swimming in or drinking unchlorinated water.

People who experience symptoms are asked to contact Pembrokeshire council's public protection department on 01437 764551 (1000 - 1800 BST on weekends and between 0800 - 1800 BST on weekdays) or e-mail


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