Two cases of E. coli have been identified at two different primary schools in Wales.

Public Health Wales, Conwy council, and Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board are investigating a probable case of E. coli at Ysgol Dyffryn yr Enfys in Conwy and a confirmed case at Ysgol Bro Cernyw in Abergele.

Parents and guardians who may have had contact with the cases have been informed with contacts asked to submit samples and remain off school until negative results are received.

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According to Public Health Wales there is currently no evidence to suggest the bacterial infection was acquired at either of the schools or that the cases are linked.

In a statement Richard Firth, consultant in health at Public Health Wales, said: "“Parents and guardians of pupils that attend the school and who may have had contact with this case have been contacted and advised on infection prevention and control measures and what steps to take if their child develops symptoms.

“Contacts have been asked to submit samples for testing and to remain off school until negative results are received.

“E. coli infections can be serious and often cause severe diarrhoea, sometimes with blood in it, abdominal cramps, and fever. Anyone who is unwell with diarrhoea or vomiting should stay away from school, nursery, or work until they are advised by a medical professional that they are well enough to return or they are free from symptoms for at least 48 hours.

“Anyone who has concerns about their health should contact their GP or NHS Direct Wales on 0845 46 47.”

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E. coli bacteria are very common and there are lots of different strains which are normally found in the gut of many animals including cattle, sheep, and people and are mostly harmless.

However the bacteria can cause a range of infections including urinary tract infection, cystitis, and intestinal infection. These infections can be serious and often cause severe diarrhoea, abdominal cramps, and fever while they may also affect the intestines, kidneys and bloodstream.

An outbreak of E. coli O157 occurred in Wales in 2005 with cases recorded in 44 different schools in the South Wales Valleys. In total 157 people, mainly children, fell ill and five-year old Mason Jones tragically died after eating some infected meat.

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