In a tragic turn of events, two English children from the same family have died after contracting E. coli, the BBC reports. The kids, whose names and ages haven't been released, lived in the Charnwood area of Leicestershire. They died from haemolytic uraemic syndrome, a complication of E. coli that affects the kidneys. Public Health England is reportedly searching for the "source of infection" and have taken samples from the family's home. While officials tell the BBC that they are not treating the cases as an E. coli outbreak, the Telegraph notes that there "are fears of a wider outbreak." There are hundreds of E. coli cases across the UK each year, according to the paper, but fatalities are uncommon.
"People can be reassured that E. coli is a relatively rare infection, a health official says, adding that "Good hygiene for all and supervised hand hygiene for small children is essential" to prevent infections. In the US, there was a recent E. coli outbreak linked to ground beef. Colorado meatpacker Cargill Meat Solutions last month recalled more than 132,000 pounds of ground beef after one person died and 17 were sickened. And this month, JBS Tolleson recalled 6.5 million pounds of ground beef after at least 57 people in 16 states were contracted salmonella. (Read more E. coli stories.)