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Toulouse: several children from the same nursery hospitalized, contaminated by E. coli bacteria

The nursery has been closed but the children are currently out of danger. Analyzes continue, the source of the contamination having not yet been identified.

By Le Parisien
November 21 , 2023 at 10:25 a.m. , modified November 22, 2023 at 12:34 p.m.

The town hall of Toulouse (Haute-Garonne) closed a daycare center after the discovery of several cases of infection with Escherichia coli bacteria (E. coli) in children, according to information from France 3 Occitanie . Several were hospitalized, some in the intensive care unit. Despite various analyzes in the establishment, the origin of the contamination remains, for the moment, unknown.

“Following significant diarrhea, 6 young children attending the Minimes crèche in Toulouse had to be hospitalized at the Toulouse University Hospital,” details a press release from the Occitanie Regional Health Agency (ARS) this Wednesday. Toulouse town hall was informed of the first symptoms on Friday November 10. She notified all parents and closed the place on Monday, November 13, while analyzes were carried out.

The ARS specifies that three children are still hospitalized this Wednesday, with a “favorable development” for one of them. His release from hospitalization is “scheduled for the end of the week”.

Contaminations have not spread

Local authorities feared significant contamination among young children, but also in the neighboring nursing home, whose residents are regularly in contact with the children in the crèche. Publics particularly at risk from this bacteria.

E. coli bacteria can “cause serious foodborne illness,” writes the World Health Organization . “In most cases, the disease resolves spontaneously, but it can progress to a potentially fatal form such as hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), especially in young children and the elderly. »


In Toulouse, some of the children presented cases of infection serious enough to be hospitalized, some in the intensive care unit. But currently everyone is out of the woods, assures France 3. And the contaminations do not seem to have spread. “There have been no cases in the nursing home,” assures the Toulouse town hall to the Parisian.

Source of infection still unknown

Samples were taken from the nursery to identify the source of the bacteria, but nothing has been found so far. Only the food cause was ruled out, in the nursery but also in the nursing home.

Other samples were taken "on different surfaces where germs found are analyzed to determine if they are the cause of the children's illnesses", adds the Toulouse town hall. She “will inform parents of the results as soon as they are known. » At the same time, “all cleaning protocols for the nursery” were “reinforced” and “deliveries of additional equipment were carried out to allow the total disinfection of the establishment. »

The nursery should reopen its doors on Wednesday. “A screening test was requested from the parents for all the children and that of the agents is in progress”, specifies the municipality, “the return to the establishment of the children and agents is conditional on a negative result to avoid a new outbreak of contamination. »