The journal Epidemiology and Infection has published a study showing that from 2009–2019, the number of Escherichia coli O157 infections in England declined. During the duration of the study, the number of cases decreased—in 2009, the mean was 887 per year, which dropped to 595 for 2014.
According to the study, the decline was highest among non-outbreak cases with people that had acquired their infections domestically.
Over time, the number of outbreaks declined. From 2009–2014, with the exception of 2013, there were more than 10 outbreaks per year. From 2015 going forward, there were 10 or fewer outbreaks annually, and in 2018 and 2019 that number dropped to four.
The decline in E. coli O157 appears to be associated with the decrease in cases affected with PT21/28, the phage type which includes stx2 almost exclusively. Scientists said this might suggest changes in behaviors or exposure risks.
Data was available for more than 8,000 patients, and more than 1,700 of these said they traveled outside the UK for at least one of seven days prior to their symptom onset. Some destinations included Turkey, Spain, Malta, and Egypt.