East Lothian nurseries at centre of E. coli outbreak given green light to reopen

All five nurseries at the centre of an E.coli outbreak in East Lothian have now been given the green light to re-open.

The nurseries were closed as a safety precaution during the outbreak which led to 56 confirmed infections.

The Musselburgh Private Nursery chain has become the latest to welcome back staff and children, following final checks and inspection visits by East Lothian Council environmental health team, the Care Inspectorate and NHS Lothian Public Health team.

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The Stoneybank nursery reopened on Wednesday, while its sister company in Bridge Street is gearing up to re-open as soon as Thursday.

The E.coli outbreak was related to the Church Road Pear Tree Nursery in Haddington.

Dr Josie Murray, consultant in public health medicine and chair of the multi-agency Incident Management Team (IMT) set up to deal with the outbreak, said: “We are really encouraged to see all of the nurseries open their doors once again and welcome back their staff and pupils.

“We know it has been a really difficult time for everyone involved, especially in accepting some of the control measures which were vital in containing the infection and stopping its spread within the community.

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“On behalf of the IMT, I would like to thank everyone for working with us throughout this rapidly evolving and complex outbreak.”

Church Street Pear Tree Nursery in Haddington was originally closed on August 2 after a number of children fell ill and went on to test positive for E.coli.

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Its sister site, Meadowpark Pear Tree Nursery, was then closed on August 12 as a precaution before E.coli cases linked to the premises were confirmed on August 18.

West Road Pear Tree Nursery in Haddington was also closed, along with Musselburgh Private Nursery on Bridge Street and Musselburgh Private Nursery in Stoneybank.

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Work is continuing behind the scenes to try to identify the source of the infection.