U of Guelph: No more reports of E. coli

November 10, 2008

Source of Article:  http://news.guelphmercury.com/News/article/402487


No new cases of E. coli contamination were reported in the city over the weekend.

"The update is nothing new," said University of Guelph spokesperson Chuck Cunningham, who spent most of the weekend on campus. "There's still four confirmed cases.

"Obviously we're deeply concerned about the students who have become sick, but we're hopeful it won't extend beyond these four cases," Cunningham said.

One U of G student was hospitalized and three others became sick following an outbreak last Thursday, Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health reported.

The source of the E. coli outbreak is unknown, but the university voluntarily closed the Pita Pit restaurant inside the University Centre as a precaution, as all four students had reported eating there since Oct. 21.

The restaurant, a university-owned franchise, remained closed on the weekend "and we will keep it closed . . . until Public Health completes its investigation," Cunningham said.

Student Health Services offered extended hours on the weekend in case students exhibited symptoms or wanted to speak to someone, but Cunningham said only a handful of students dropped by and none of them resulted in additional confirmed cases of E. coli.

"We just want to make sure we're available to anyone with concerns," he said.

"We wanted to make sure there was a real person available to address those concerns."

The university has also set up a website with answers to frequently asked questions about E. coli.

Public health officials are working with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term care to determine whether the Guelph cases are related to 20 confirmed cases in Niagara, Halton and Waterloo regions, but so far no link has been confirmed.

Public health wants to hear from anyone who ate at the university from Oct. 21 on and suffers from bloody diarrhea that appears red or black. Other symptoms include abdominal cramps, nausea and/or vomiting.

Anyone who has experienced any of these symptoms should call Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health at 519-846-2715 or 1-800-265-7293, Ext. 26.



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