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Investigating E. coli outbreak in N.S., N.B.

Written by: QMI Agency
Jan. 4, 2013

E. coli. (Wikimedia Commons/NIAID/HO)


Public health officials in Nova Scotia are investigating an E. coli outbreak that occurred over Christmas and might be linked to similar cases in New Brunswick.

Seven cases of E. coli 0157 infection were detected in Nova Scotia between Dec. 23 and 26, Dr. Robert Strang, the province's chief public health officer, said Friday.

"Two people remain in hospital," Strang said. "The other five were sick but have recovered or are recovering."

One person has acute kidney failure -- Strang said it's a common severe illness caused by E. coli 0157 -- but is expected to recover.

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The cases were spread throughout the province, occurring in areas around Halifax, Truro, New Glasgow and Antigonish, with patients aged between 18 and 83, Strang said.

Another five cases were recorded in New Brunswick over the same time period, around Saint John and Fredericton.

Officials have not yet identified a definitive source of the bacteria.

"Because of the broad distribution and the timeframe of the onset, everything is indicating a food product with a limited shelf life," Strang said.

 

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