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Number of E.Coli cases rises.

Summary: A health chief has personally apologised to the parents of children left seriously ill by an E.coli outbreak.

Fourteen children are now being treated in hospital after an E.coli outbreak at a farm in Surrey.

The total number of cases has risen from 37 to 40. Four of the children are still seriously ill. A health chief has personally apologised to the parents of children left poorly.

Justin McCracken, the head of the Health Protection Agency (HPA), said sorry for delays after it emerged the agency received reports earlier than was claimed.

Mr McCracken has announced he has commissioned an independent investigation at Godstone Farm.

The mother of twin boys who are being treated in a London hospital said she was pleased the HPA "had the guts" to launch the inquiry.

Initially, the HPA said that the first E.coli case had come to light on August 27 but a subsequent investigation has discovered two cases were reported in the previous week.

Mr McCracken said: "If this information had been taken into account on 27 August, then the advice given and the steps taken on 3 September would have been introduced earlier and the farm might have been closed earlier."

Independent Television News Limited 2009. All rights reserved.

Independent Television News Limited 2009. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Independent Television News Limited (ITN)
Date:Sep 17, 2009
Words:227
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