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Last Updated: Sunday, 13 November 2005, 17:58 GMT
Nursery shuts after E.coli found
E.coli on laboratory Petri dish
The first case of E.coli at the nursery was notified on Wednesday
A private nursery in Brecon in Powys has been closed following the emergence of E.coli among children there.

The Puffins pre-school nursery, which is attended by 54 children, was closed on Sunday while more investigations take place.

Officials said no connection with the E.coli 0157 outbreak in south Wales has been established or ruled out.

One boy has died and a total of 42 schools across the valleys have been linked to the outbreak since September.

In a statement issued on Sunday the National Public Health Service for Wales and Powys Council said the first E.coli case at the Puffins nursery came to light last Wednesday, and by Saturday other possible cases had emerged.

Abercynon infants school
Abercynon infants was the second school to close in the outbreak

The statement said that because of the unknown source of the infection and the possibility of it being spread from person to person, it was decided to close the nursery.

Parents of the pupils who range from five months to 10 were being contacted by environmental health officers.

A private meeting for parents willl take place at 1800 BST on Monday at the Powys Council offices at Neuadd Brecheiniog in Brecon.

Families will be offered one-to-one advice and health officials will arrange for samples to be taken from the children.

The joint statement also said the nursery will be given enhanced cleaning and disinfection.

Advice packs on E.coli
Parents will be given advice packs similar to this one

Children will be able to return as their tests show they are clear.

While it is not known whether these cases are linked with the outbreak in south Wales, health officials say it is likely that E.coli 0157 remains in the community due to the widespread nature of its original distribution.

The outbreak control team urged parents to keep vigilant and let their doctor know if their child has bloody diarrhoea.

The total number of confirmed cases in the south Wales valleys E.coli 0157 outbreak since September stands at 168. Five year-old Mason Jones from Deri, Bargoed, died last month from the bug.

Two south Wales' valleys schools - Abercynon infants and Glenboi primary - have also been closed for several days while testing was carried out.

The Welsh Assembly Government, which has promised a "no-holds-barred inquiry" into the outbreak, last week appointed food safety expert Professor Hugh Pennington as chairman.

Professor Pennington carried out an inquiry into an outbreak in Scotland in 1996 which killed 17 people.

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