Edition 1453
09 December 2017
Edition: 1453

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Maia schoolgirl, 7, dies from E-coli bacteria, linked to hamster

in News · 23-11-2017 14:42:00 · 0 Comments

A seven-year-old girl from Maia, northern Portugal, has died days after falling ill due to the food-related E-coli bacteria. Her death was initially linked to her pet hamster and authorities have since confirmed the illness is infectious.

The young schoolgirl is believed to have caught the dangerous bacteria from something she ate, which caused vomiting and diarrhoea and subsequently kidney failure.
Joana Teixeira, a pupil at the Gandra School Group in Maia, suffered from vomiting and diarrhoea for a few days before being urgently rushed to the São João Hospital in Porto after her kidneys started to fail.
She died last Monday due to kidney failure, two days after being admitted to the unit. It was the girl’s family doctor who reportedly originally said the death was linked to a pet hamster.
Worried parents at the school were quick to seek reassurances from the local education board, the council and health authorities with regards to their own children’s health and safety, along with answers as to whether the illness could be contagious, given that the young girl had fraternised with colleagues.
According to reports, at least one other child at the school has shown the same symptoms.
Manuel Ferreira, head of the local school board, confirmed “the disease is transmissible” and informed what preventative procedures should be adopted.
The local health board also said an investigation has been launched into the epidemiology, which is caught through “contaminated food or water” as well as being passed on from person to person via the faecal-oral route.
Commenting on the hamster link to newspaper Correio da Manhã, the head of Portugal’s Veterinary Association said that while there are records of such cases, “they are very rare.”
“If hygiene and veterinary procedures are upheld the risk of this happening is very low”, he stressed.
Such animal diseases are passed on to humans via parasites, viruses, bacteria, and fungi, through contact with animal faeces, saliva, urine, or dry particles.
This can be avoided if hands are washed every time after touching animals or their toys, cages, water dispensers or food bowls.
Animals should be vaccinated or medicated as necessary, and should not be kissed or held anywhere near the mouth.

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Edition 1453
09 December 2017
Edition: 1453

Read this week's issue online exactly as it appears in print.

Twitter