Birmingham City Council is increasing hand-washing facilities at Sutton Park in Sutton Coldfield, while the Health Protection Agency (HPA) is warn visitors of the risks of possible E. coli 0157 infections.
Authorities have already confirmed seven cases of E. coli 0157 infections, of which five are children under eight. All the infected people had visited the same park in Birmingham over the recent weeks.
Dr. Roger Gajraj, a consultant with the West Midlands East Health Protection Unit of the HPA, warned that E. coli O157, the strain of the bacteria that is often associated with contact with contaminated animal faeces, can cause very serious illness in children and can also lead to kidney failure.
Speaking about the preventive measure being taken by the authorities, Gajraj said, "The council is increasing hand-washing facilities at the park and the city council and HPA are issuing leaflets and displaying posters to warn visitors of the risks."
As the strain of the bacteria hit young children very hard, parents are being urged to keep their kids away from the Sutton Park for sometime. As an extra precaution, walkers and cyclists are being advised to wash their footwear and tyres after visiting the park.
Sutton Park has an area of around 2,400 acres. Its bridle-paths and cycling routes attract as many as two million people per annum.
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