Health Protection Scotland (HPS) said that a new strain of E. coli O157was responsible for the outbreak in Fife. Further the strain had been seen in Europe and Australia, but is apparently very rare in UK.
'This unusual strain reacts differently in the laboratory from other types of E.coli O157 and this is why we are interested in finding out more about it,' said HPS consultant Dr John Cowden. 'It produces the same symptoms as other strains and our advice to reduce the possibility of becoming infected with any type of E. coli remains the same.'
The bacterium is very hard to identify and clinicians are being warned that another bug is lurking around. Till date the new strain has been linked to 13 cases in Dunfermline, four other single cases in Scotland and four cases in England.
Dr Cowden said that taking precautionary measures like hand washing, storing food correctly and thoroughly cooked food would reduce the incidence of infections.