E. coli cases now top the 200 mark
North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit News Release ******************** There are now a total of 207 cases, of which 39 are lab confirmed for E. coli O157:H7.
North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit
There are now a total of 207 cases, of which 39 are lab confirmed for E. coli O157:H7. There are fewer primary cases being reported, and we still expect to see secondary cases (that is, people who get sick by being exposed to someone who is sick with E. coli O157:H7). The increase today is due to people who are self-reporting their symptoms, which is expected, and are within the incubation period of the outbreak. This number includes all cases across Ontario and one in Quebec.
“Although we can reveal few details to avoid identifying anyone, there is one child who is very ill and in hospital,” said Dr. Catherine Whiting, Medical Officer of Health. “This person meets the criteria for complications from an E. coli infection, specifically Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome or HUS.”
For any results from the provincial labs, media can to contact the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care Media Relations line at 1-888-414-4774.
The Health Unit thanks all those who called in to be part of the ongoing investigation. The information they provided will help the Health Unit further investigate the difference between the foods people ate that became ill, and those who did not become ill.
While the investigation to find the source continues, at this time no specific product or process has been identified as the cause. The Health Unit is working closely with the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care, Canadian Food Inspection Agency, The Agency for Health Protection and Promotion and The Public Health Agency of Canada.
The Health Unit reminds people who have been ill with E. coli to continue thorough hand washing practices as a method of helping to prevent the spread of E. coli. People who have been ill should not return to work until they are symptom-free. For people who work in a daycare, health care facility or in the food service industry, it is important to get a doctor’s note stating that lab results are negative before returning to work.
Symptoms of illness from E. coli O157:H7 include diarrhea, which may be bloody, stomach cramps, and/or vomiting and possibly a fever. Anyone suffering with these symptoms is advised to seek medical attention, or contact Telehealth at 1-866-797-0000 day or night.
The best way to prevent the spread of E. coli O157: H7 to others is to:
• Wash hands thoroughly, using soap and hot running water, before any food contact, and after any toileting or changing of diapers.
• Use a nailbrush and soap under hot running water to clean under fingernails. Rinse thoroughly.
• Have separate towels for sick people.
• Clean bathroom taps, toilets, and doorknobs at least once every day with an antiseptic cleaner such as bleach and water (1 part bleach to 10 parts water). Even better would be a separate bathroom for the sick person.
• Wash clothes, especially underclothes, in hot water and dry in a hot dryer for at least half an hour. If the clothes cannot be put in the dryer, dry in direct sunshine.
Important facts about E. coli O157:H7:
• E. coli is not spread to others before you have symptoms (anywhere from one to 10 days after consuming E. coli)
• After you get symptoms, E. coli O157:H7 can be spread from person to person (for example, by hand to mouth contact through improper hand washing after using the toilet)
• After symptoms are done - usually from seven to ten days - an adult can still spread the bacteria for up to one week and children for up to three weeks
• Adults with E. coli O157:H7 or E. coli-like symptoms should not use recreational water venues, such as pools, for two weeks after symptoms are gone and four weeks for children, unless laboratory test is negative