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School closure due to EHEC infections

School closure due to EHEC infections

School closure due to EHEC infections

Due to the spread of EHEC pathogens, a school in Altenbeken in East Westphalia was closed for a week. After several students had already suffered from typical EHEC symptoms such as diarrhea, nausea and abdominal pain in mid-June, an infection with the dangerous intestinal germs of the new, particularly dangerous pathogen strain "HUSEC 041" was detected in three boys. Since three employees of the food service and one employee of the responsible caterer were also diagnosed with an EHEC infection, the authorities decided on Monday to close the school for a week.

While the EHEC epidemic appears to have peaked overall according to the declining infection numbers, health authorities report the worrying occurrence of several EHEC infections in a school in Altenbeken (Paderborn district) in East Westphalia. Three boys between the ages of eight and eleven have been infected with the new, particularly aggressive EHEC pathogens. In addition, an EHEC infection was also detected in three employees of the food distribution and one employee of the responsible caterer. The school was then closed for a week in consultation with the district health office, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) and the responsible state authorities. Due to the closure until Tuesday next week, there will be enough time to wait for the incubation period and possible other diseases, the Paderborn district announced on Monday. The classes in primary school are canceled until then.

School closed for a week due to EHEC infections After three boys from the school in Altenbeken fell ill with the so-called hemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS) as a result of an EHEC infection and have still had to be treated by specialists from the University Hospital of Münster, the authorities were alarmed. When the EHEC rapid test then found the new, particularly aggressive EHEC pathogens of the HUSEC 041 strain, when three employees of the food distribution and one employee of the caterer, who had not previously had any EHEC symptoms, found that the responsible authorities decided on a week-long week Closure of the school. Classes will be canceled until next Tuesday. As a result, the incubation period for possible further infections can be waited for, also to avoid possible infection in school, reports the Paderborn district health office. It usually takes about three to four days before the first symptoms of EHEC, such as diarrhea or abdominal pain, and a week later, with the severe course of infection, the first symptoms of hemolytic-uraemic syndrome follow, which can cause acute kidney failure, anemia and neurological disorders. The decision to close the school was agreed with the state authorities and the Robert Koch Institute, according to the Paderborn district. The district administrator Manfred Müller said that the school was closed with due regard to the concerned parents.

EHEC route of infection in school so far unclear The three boys who fell ill as a result of an infection with the new, particularly aggressive EHEC strain of the life-threatening HUS are now on the mend, according to the district health office. The staff at the meal counter and the caterer's employee showed no symptoms as a result of the EHEC infection. Nevertheless, the school will remain closed until next Tuesday, not least because the route of infection has not yet been clearly clarified and the incubation period for possible new infections should be awaited, explained the head of the Paderborn district health office, Georg Alles. The source of the infection is transmission through contaminated food, as well as infection in the communal toilets via a so-called smear infection, according to the head of the district health office. Since an EHEC infection can be triggered by even the smallest amount of transmitted pathogens, according to the experts, community facilities such as schools, hospitals and nursing homes are particularly at risk from spreading the EHEC bacteria. In the current case of the school, the district health office appears to be deliberately reluctant to speculate about a possible source of infection, because the likelihood that the food delivery is related to the EHEC infections appears to be in view of the EHEC proven by the staff of the caterer. Pathogen relatively high, even if a conclusive statement cannot yet be made due to the pending stool sample examinations.

Incubation period of the new EHEC pathogens largely unknown So far the new pathogen HUSEC 041 does not know how long the EHEC people actually pose a risk of infection for their fellow human beings, so it cannot be ruled out that the school in Altenbeken will be operating for longer than a week must set. Experiences with other EHEC strains have shown that several weeks can pass before the infected people no longer transmit any pathogens, reports the district health office. Children who have been infected with EHEC are more likely to take longer to become infected, said the experts. The transmission by people who are infected with the pathogen but do not have any EHEC symptoms themselves is particularly dangerous, as in the current case, for example, with the employees at the food service. Therefore, thorough hygiene measures such as washing hands before every kitchen job and after every trip to the toilet play an important role in stopping the spread of EHEC infections, warn the health authorities. (fp)

Read more about EHEC:
Symptoms of an EHEC infection
Rapid test detects EHEC symptoms
Don't panic about EHEC germs
EHEC causes: On the trail of the pathogen
First deaths from EHEC infections
No antibiotic at EHEC
Mysterious infections caused by EHEC pathogens
Doctors are testing new therapy against EHEC infection

Photo credit: Gabi Schoenemann / pixelio.de

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