E. coli outbreak victims worried, angry
Updated: Monday, October 20, 2008 | 4:52 PM ET
Source of Article: http://www.cbc.ca/health/story/2008/10/20/north-bay-e-coli.html
People sickened in an E. coli
outbreak in northern Ontario
are angry and worried about the long-term effects of the illness.
There are 141 confirmed and
suspected cases of E. coli O157:H7 that have been linked to a Harvey's restaurant in North Bay,
about 300 kilometres north of Toronto.
Health officials said Monday
that they have ruled out 18 suspected cases as not being linked to the
Two weeks ago, John Baker ate a
hamburger at the restaurant, and after three days he had bloody diarrhea and
major stomach cramps.
"It was like eating ...
broken glass," said Baker, who was in the hospital for three days and
lost 30 pounds. "You just want to go to sleep because you can't stand
the pain anymore."
Baker said he feels tired now,
but his biggest worry is whether the infection will cause problems such as
colitis or kidney failure in the future.
Kelly Fortier, 21, said she is
angry at having to put her life on hold since eating at the Harvey's two weeks ago. She was
hospitalized for four days and health officials have placed her in isolation,
which means she can't go to school or to work.
"I have other things to
do, which I can't do," Fortier said. I was upset when I was in hospital,
because I thought I was dying. But mainly I'm just angry."
The E. coli outbreak is the
largest of its kind since seven people died and about 2,500 others fell ill
after drinking contaminated water in Walkerton, Ont., in May 2000.
Last week, doctors following
the health of Walkerton residents said people with confirmed severe
gastro-enteritis had a 30 per cent increased risk of high blood pressure or
kidney damage, but with treatment the condition stabilized.