ANOTHER E Coli case has been confirmed in Dorset, taking the total number of victims to 11.

Public Health England (PHE) confirmed that laboratory tests had revealed a further case of the very rare O55 strain.

The PHE stressed it had already begun a thorough investigation of this latest case.

It said there were no other probable cases outstanding at this time but it was possible further cases may come to light.

PHE confirmed earlier this week that seven of the E Coli victims had gone on to develop serious kidney problems.

The cluster involves the O55 strain, which has not been seen in England since records began in 1994, and PHE has so far not been able to find any common link between the cases.

There have been two cases in July, one in August, four at the end of October and four in November.

Three of the latest victims are all children who attended the Blandford Children’s Centre nursery in Black Lane, which has undergone two deep cleans and is currently closed pending test results.

But three people who fell ill in July and August are all from Bournemouth. They had all eaten at the same restaurant in Bournemouth but environmental health officers inspected and found no problems there.

PHE said it was continuing to investigate all cases to try and identify a common source.

Noëleen McFarland, Consultant in Health Protection at PHE Wessex, said: “We are working closely with colleagues in the North Dorset Environmental Health Department to identify possible sources of infection. It is an infection that can be passed easily from person to person and young children are particularly easily affected.

“Any infection with E. coli can be very serious. We have interviewed all of those affected or their parents and their close contacts to look for possible causes in the days before they became ill. This information is being used in the ongoing investigation into these cases.”