The Department of Public Health in the Mid-West is handling an E.coli outbreak at a childcare facility and is reminding the public of the danger this bacteria can pose.
Verotoxigenic E.coli (VTec) is a powerful strain of E.coli bacterium that lives in the gut of healthy cattle and sheep and can cause serious illness in the elderly and in children aged under five.
The Mid-West public health department said the outbreak was under control but the incidence highlights the importance of hand hygiene and proper water treatment.
VTec can be a source of food poisoning and can cause bowel inflammation leading to bloody diarrhoea and severe stomach cramps.
While some people may experience no symptoms, severe diarrhoea from VTec can last as long as nine days.
Public Health Mid-West said a hospital laboratory can confirm the presence of VTec if a person provides a stool sample to their doctor.