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Published On: Wed, Aug 28th, 2013

E.coli outbreak linked to Brisbane Ekka climb, at least eight cases confirmed

Several days after the initial alert from Queensland Health concerning  Shiga toxin producing E.Coli (STEC) infections after visiting the Ekka, the case count continues to grow, according to a Perth Now report Tuesday.

Image/CIA

Image/CIA

Initial reports from health officials Friday were four cases; however, the latest reports show that at least eight cases of the bacterial infection have been confirmed, with another nine suspected cases pending laboratory confirmation.

Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said it was unclear at this stage the exact source of the bacteria, but the affected persons reported visiting the Animal Boulevard at the Ekka.

The eight confirmed cases are evenly divided  between children and adults, with the majority being female. Two patients required hospitalization for their illness, but have since been released.

“Queenslanders should be alert, but not alarmed, about this incident and simple precautions such as those outlined below would guard against a further spread of infection,” Dr Young said.

“STEC is a very serious, very infectious type of bacteria and can spread easily from person to person if they do not have good hygiene practices.

“Children and the elderly are particularly vulnerable to the condition.”

She said anyone who is experiencing persistent or bloody diarrhea after visiting the Ekka must seek urgent medical attention from their GP.

Infections from STEC can result in dehydration, bloody diarrhea and abdominal cramps 2-8 days (3-4 days, on average) after exposure to the organism. While most people recover within a week, some develop a type of kidney failure called Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS).

According to Dr Young, “We anticipate given it has been six days since the Ekka finished, that most if not all cases would have been identified by now. The concern now is to stop any further spread.”

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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