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Published On: Sun, Jan 6th, 2013

New Brunswick health officials investigate E. coli outbreak

Public domain image/John Fowler

Public domain image/John Fowler

Health officials in New Brunswick, Canada are investigating an E. coli O157 outbreak, which has sickened at least five individuals, according a New Brunswick government press release Thursday.

The five confirmed cases, two from the Saint John region and three from the Fredericton region required emergency room visits for their illnesses. One person required hospitalization and was admitted for treatment.

The source of the E. coli has yet to be determined; in addition,  it has not been determined if all the cases are connected.

“At this time, we do not know if the cases have a common source,” said Dr. Eilish Cleary, Chief Medical Officer of Health. “A number of sources are being investigated and we are still gathering information. It is very important that New Brunswickers wash their hands thoroughly after using the bathroom or changing diapers, and take food safety precautions.”

Health officials say these precautions include washing or peeling all raw vegetables and fruits before eating. It is important to thoroughly cook all meats (meat, poultry and seafood) and to prevent contact between cooked foods and raw poultry and other meats. New Brunswickers are also advised to only drink and eat pasteurized dairy products.

Symptoms of the diseases caused by E.coli O157:H7 include abdominal cramps and diarrhea that may in some cases progress to bloody diarrhea. The infection may lead to a life-threatening disease, such as hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). HUS is characterized by acute renal failure, hemolytic anemia and thrombocytopenia. It is estimated that up to 10% of patients with E.coli infection may develop HUS, with a case-fatality rate ranging from 3% to 5%.

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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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  1. Canadian E. coli outbreak now at 16 cases - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] to the agency, there are six cases in New Brunswick, five in Nova Scotia and five in Ontario. The majority of cases have recovered or are […]

  2. Nova Scotia E. coli cases climb to 10 - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] Scotia health officials are working closely with their peers in New Brunswick, which is dealing with an E. coli outbreak also, to determine if there are any links or common sources of […]

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