Published On: Fri, Jan 11th, 2013

Canadian E. coli outbreak now at 16 cases

With the confirmation of an additional case of E. coli O157 in Ontario Wednesday, the Public Health Agency of Canada says there are now 16 total cases in Atlantic Canada and Ontario, according to a Public Health Agency of Canada public health notice Jan. 9.


Public domain image/ Maduixa at sr.wikipedia

Public domain image/ Maduixa at sr.wikipedia

According 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 recovering.  Five more illnesses in Nova Scotia are suspected to be part of the outbreak and testing is ongoing.

Officially, the Public Health Agency of Canada says the source of the outbreak is unknown and the investigation is continuing.

However,  Dr. Frank Atherton, deputy chief medical officer of health for Nova Scotia said in a emailed statement to Food Safety News, “Our environmental and epidemiological investigations suggest a common source related to a produce item.”

In recent years, an average of about 440 cases of this type of E. coli infection was reported annually in Canada.

In a related story south of the Canadian border, health officials in Hamilton County, Ohio, say a small, localized outbreak of E. coli linked to leafy greens in mid-December is over and they have closed the investigation, according to a report in The Packer Jan. 9.

In this outbreak, five people were confirmed to have contracted E.coli, while there was one “probable” case. All six people have recovered.

The outbreak has been linked to the consumption of leafy greens at a local Longhorn Steakhouse.

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. Shredded lettuce ‘the most probable cause’ of Eastern Canada’s E. coli outbreak - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] a follow-up to a story Friday, preliminary findings from the Public Health Agency of Canada investigation into […]

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