Sixteen children have been diagnosed with the bacterial infection, and concerns have been raised that tourists may spread it further, RÚV reports.
The outbreak is purported to have originated in Efstadal 2, a farm and restaurant near Laugarvatn, after a group of school children visited the place, with some of them contracting E. coli. To be clear: none of the food nor any of the employees tested positive for E. coli. Rather, it is all but certain the bacteria originated from the faecal matter of calves on the farm.
Health authorities have pointed out that there are many rural restaurants in Iceland that are located near farms, prompting a more thorough investigation into stopping the infection’s spread. Further, these locations are visited by many tourists, which could potentially increase the risk of spreading E. coli.
As it stands now, Efstadal 2 is safe to visit; the cow sties have been quarantined and the restaurant is clean.
E.coli is spread through faeces, urine, and other bodily fluids. While potentially fatal, it usually is not, and prevention is easy. If you do visit a farm in Iceland, be sure to wash your hands with hot and soapy water immediately afterwards. More information can be found here (English at the bottom).
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