E. coli O121 infection outbreak identified in Naha

The Okinawa Prefectural Health and Longevity Division announced on Oct. 2nd an outbreak of a group infection caused by enterohemorrhagic escherichia coli O121 bacteria at an officially authorized childcare facility in Naha.

As of Oct. 2nd, a total of 10 people, seven children between ages 2 and 6, a nurse and two parents, were identified infected. Although five of the infected persons have complained symptoms like diarrhea, none of the cases is serious.

According to the Okinawa Prefectural Office, after a 20-year-old nurse complained of symptoms including diarrhea, slight fever and stomachache, the cause was identified on Sep. 10th as the O121. A 4-year-old boy was confirmed of having the infection next to the nurse, and eventually 10 people developed the infection by of Oct. 2nd.

The Nanbu Regional Public Health Center is investigating the source of the infection.

Although O121 E. coli has been identified as a serotype of an E. coli bacteria living in the lower intestines of many mammals that are usually beneficial and do not cause disease, much less is known about O121 and its effects than about E. coli O157 that is a source of outbreaks more often.

18:35 11 Dec , 2023