Thu, October 16, 2008

Canada: E. coli outbreak in expands to 93 cases

UPDATED: 2008-10-16 12:06:30 MST


Source of Article:

NORTH BAY, Ont. An E. coli outbreak in northern Ontario linked to a fast-food restaurant has expanded to 93 confirmed and suspected cases.

Health authorities also report today that laboratory tests confirm 15 cases of the potentially lethal strain of E coli O157:H7 poisoning in North Bay, Ont.

The ill range in age from five to 84, with some receiving hospital treatment while most are recovering at home. The regional public health unit says the outbreak appears to have originated at a Harveys Restaurant, although the source of contamination is not yet known.

The restaurant was closed Sunday evening. The average incubation period for E. coli is three or four days, indicating more cases could still be reported. The bacterial strain is the same one that afflicted the town of Walkerton, Ont., in May 2000, killing seven people and sickening about 2,500 others.

In that case, the outbreak was traced to contaminated municipal tap water, but water has been ruled out in the North Bay case.



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