Between October and November of 2005, 18 cases of E. coli O157:H7 were identified in a small rural area of midwest Ireland.
According to Eurosurveillance Weekly, nine of the 18 cases were preschool children attending two local creches, both of which were unregistered. Creches are childcare facilities that are allowed to be based inside of a home. Irish legislation requires that creche owners who care for more than three children in their own homes must be registered with local preschool services.
It seems as though the outbreak may have occurred through the water supply. Group water schemes, which are a grouping of homes that collectively use a common water supply, may have been contaminated by a nearby herd of cattle. Drinking the E.coli-contaminated water infected the children.
The two creches in question have been voluntarily closed. A “boil water notice’ has been placed on the group water scheme.