E. coli cases in North Bay, Ont., climb to 217

Canwest News Servicec

Published: Monday, October 27, 2008


Source of Article:  http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/story.html?id=e17615f6-d5c8-4c77-96c2-986d759b4c6f

NORTH BAY, Ont. - Regional health officials said Monday they are now investigating 217 cases of E. coli linked to a Harvey's hamburger restaurant in this central Ontario city.

That number, up from 207 reported Friday, also includes cases from eight other Ontario health units, Quebec, and now British Columbia.

Dr. Catherine Whiting also said of the 217 cases, 42 are confirmed to have been infected with E. coli O157: H7, the strain that first turned up at the fast-food restaurant earlier this month.

Whiting said the affected individuals range in age from 12 months to 90 years.

One child, hospitalized last week, has been taken out of critical care but remains in hospital.

Symptoms of E. coli infections can include diarrhea, stomach cramps, vomiting and fever.

Investigators are still looking into the possibility that undercooked beef served at the restaurant may be behind the outbreak. The restaurant has been closed since Oct. 12.

The probe is being conducted by the North Bay/Parry Sound District Health Unit, in collaboration with the Ontario Health Ministry, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Last Friday, a $17-million class-action lawsuit was launched against Cara Operations Ltd., the company that runs the Harvey's chain.



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