It is likely that the COVID-19 pandemic contributed to a 25 percent drop in E. coli O157 cases in England in 2020 compared to 2019, according to numbers recently released by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA).

In 2020, 1,419 confirmed cases of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) were reported in England and Wales. This included 402 culture-confirmed cases of E. coli O157 and 690, where a serogroup other than O157 was isolated. Five people died. For another 329 cases, samples tested positive by PCR for Shiga toxin genes, but STEC was not cultured. In 2019, 539 E. coli O157 and 768 non-O157 infections were noted.

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