Five E. Coli cases probed in outbreak

The Canadian Press

Source of Article:

NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE, ONT. Health inspectors investigating an E. coli outbreak took dozens of food samples from a Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont., restaurant over the weekend after confirming five cases.

One of the sick people was hospitalized and is now recovering at home. The other cases were significant enough to require medical attention.

Two suspected cases of E. coli have also been reported to the Niagara's Public Health Department.

While the agency doesn't yet know the source of the outbreak, it said four of the seven individuals ate at the Little Red Rooster restaurant in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

"That's why we're trying to be broad thinking about where and what the source could be," said Robin Williams, Medical Officer of Health.

Symptoms of food-borne E. coli infection include bloody diarrhea, severe abdominal pain and sometimes fever.

The restaurant voluntarily closed Friday until health inspectors could determine if it was linked to the outbreak.

"We are co-operating and that's all I can say," said Mary Lynn Pullman, co-owner of the restaurant. "We're thinking about our community."

Inspectors collected food samples at the restaurant Friday night and Saturday. They will be analyzed in Toronto.

The last E. coli outbreak in the region was in 2007 when a St. Catharines restaurant was linked to the infection of nine people, five of whom required hospitalization.

This month in North Bay, more than 200 people became ill after an E. coli outbreak linked to a Harvey's restaurant.

There does not appear to be a connection to that outbreak, Dr. Williams said.



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