8 more cases under investigation in Niagara E. Coli outbreak

Canwest News Service


Source of Article:  http://www.canada.com/topics/news/national/story.html?id=2ca5871a-06c6-4611-8ec6-44aa4ab4bf2f


Published: Thursday, October 30, 2008

Health officials in the Niagara region are investigating eight new cases of E. coli infection, bringing to 31 the number of people suspected of having been sickened by the food-borne bacterium.

The outbreak has already led to the temporary closure of two popular restaurants in the southern Ontario district.

Eighteen of the currently suspected cases have been linked to the Little Red Rooster restaurant in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont., and nine cases are connected to M.T. Bellies in Welland, Ont., Niagara Region Public Health officials said Thursday.

The remaining four have not yet been tied to a particular locale.

Medical officials have not yet been able to identify a specific source for the O157: H7 strain of E. coli at the centre of the outbreak.

Carrie Beatty, a spokeswoman for Niagara's public health authority, said she was not aware of anyone in the region currently hospitalized due to E. coli infection. Symptoms associated with the strain include bloody diarrhea, vomiting, stomach cramps and fever.

A Harvey's fast-food restaurant in North Bay, Ont., closed Oct. 12 due to E. coli contamination. As of Thursday, North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit officials were investigating 235 cases in the central Ontario city, 45 of which have been confirmed as caused by the particular strain of E. coli.

The investigation into the source of the contamination continues. No sources have been identified.



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