Sutton Park E. coli cases confirmed

Sutton Park
All seven patients have recovered, the HPA said

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) is investigating a string of E. coli cases among visitors to a West Midlands park.

Seven people have been infected by the 0157 strain of E. coli at Sutton Park in Sutton Coldfield over July and August.

Five of the cases involved children under eight years old, the HPA said. All patients have since recovered.

Posters and leaflets have been issued, but the HPA said parents may want to use other parks for the time being.

Dr Roger Gajraj, a consultant with the HPA's West Midlands East Health Protection Unit (HPU) said: "E. coli O157 can be very serious in young children and can in some instances cause kidney failure."

The HPA said E. coli O157 was often associated with contact with animals and rural areas that may have been contaminated by animal faeces.

Dr Gajraj said extra hand washing facilities had been set up in the park.

Posters issued by Birmingham City Council in Sutton Park recommended keeping children and pets away from grazing animals and washing hands, particularly before eating or drinking.

They also advised washing shoes and bicycle and pushchair wheels after a visit to the park.