Bacterial Infections in focus at Conference

A RESPONSE to bacterial infections linked to the region has formed the focus of an award-winning talk.

Specialist Registrar Andrew Rideout delivered the presentation as one of three members of NHS Dumfries and Galloway’s Public Health team who attended the annual 5 Nations Health Protection Conference in Belfast last week.

Andrew said: “Our department has, in the past, been involved in responding to cases of E. coli illness linked to Dumfries and Galloway, taking on the role of co-ordinating a response in conjunction with Health Protection Scotland.
“We co-ordinated what was going on across Scotland, and heard back from the other health boards what they found out, discussing the risks.”

Andrew says responsibility included investigating the origin of cases, and working to prevent any others, but that the bacterial infection is not unheard of within rural Dumfries and Galloway as it can be contracted on agricultural land.

He said: “We have more E. coli here than a lot of boards would have, but that’s just the nature of Dumfries and Galloway.”

Andrew won the 5 Nations Oral Presentation prize at last week’s event in Belfast.

He said: “I tried to put together a talk which was entertaining and light, but also had a few important messages in it about limiting the risks of bacterial infection, which obviously went down well with the audience and judges.
“I was just disappointed that we were already on the ferry back when I discovered that I’d won.”

The public health team also had two posters displayed at the 5 Nations Health Protection Conference – one about cross-agency working and another about antibiotic-resistant bacteria.




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