The outbreak of infections with E. coli continues in the east of Canada

News 21 December, 2017
  • QMI agency

    Thursday, December 21, 2017 19:18

    Thursday, December 21 2017 19:22

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    OTTAWA | Ten new infections of E. coli associated with consumption of romaine lettuce have been identified in the country, said on Thursday the public health Agency of Canada (PHAC).

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    The number of cases associated with this recent outbreak is now up to 40.

    In an update to a notice published last week, the federal agency recommends that people who are in Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador do not eat romaine lettuce until further notice.

    In its investigation, the public health AGENCY of canada collaborates with its provincial partners, public health, the canadian food inspection agency (CFIA) and Health Canada in order to understand the causes of the contamination and the source of the lettuce is contaminated.

    13 case in Quebec

    The outbreak affects mainly the eastern part of Canada. The Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador are so far the provinces most severely affected with 13 cases in their respective territories. Eight cases were identified in Ontario, five in New Brunswick and one in Nova Scotia.

    The people who have been infected are between the ages of 4 to 85 years old and fell sick in the month of November and early December. Sixteen of them were hospitalised and one died.

    Among those affected, 73 % are female.

    The majority of people infected have eaten romaine lettuce at home and at the restaurant shortly before getting sick.

    The outbreak continues

    The new cases of contamination with E. coli suggest to the AGENCY that the outbreak continues and the fresh lettuces are contaminated may still be found on the market, in restaurants and in grocery stores.

    The strain of E. coli at the source of the outbreak (E. coli 0157) is likely to cause severe symptoms (nausea, vomiting, headache, fever, cramps, violent, watery diarrhoea or bloody), which usually last five days.

    Pregnant women, people with weakened immune systems, young children and the elderly are more at risk of developing serious complications if exposed to the bacteria.