An outbreak of infantile gastro-enteritis occurred at Booth Hall Children's Hospital as part of a general incident in north-western England, caused by Esch. coli O114K90H2.
The organism, which could not be identified with routinely used antisera, caused an unusually prolonged illness after an insidious onset, and was characterized by severe vomiting, together with the passage of very watery stools which became mucuslike and which had a distinctive smell. 29 children were affected and 20 required intravenous feeding for a mean period of 10 days. 7 children died late in the illness, but all were young and debilitated by other acquired or congenital anomalies. Sugar intolerance was prominent, and there was difficulty in returning the children to their routine formulae. Gentamicin and colistin sulphate may have had some effect in reducing the mortality caused by the illness.
Liver function abnormality was common, suggesting that Esch. coli O114 might have produced a substance with widespread visceral effects.
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