Public Health Following Cases of E.coli

Health and Wellness

January 4, 2013 11:48 AM

The Department of Health and Wellness is investigating seven recently confirmed cases of E.coli 0157 in the province.

Three cases were reported in Capital District Health, one each in Pictou District and Colchester East Hants health authorities, and two in Guysborough Antigonish Strait Health Authority.

All patients were seen by health care professionals and two were admitted to hospital.

"Nova Scotians should not be alarmed. We are working with other departments and agencies to determine the source as we continue our investigation," said Dr. Robert Strang, Chief Public Health Officer. "Since the initial cases were reported, it has been more than a week since we've seen a new case."

Reported cases in Nova Scotia have ranged from five to 17 annually since 2008.

To prevent and reduce the spread of E.coli 0157:

-- wash and peel all raw vegetables and fruits before eating
-- properly cook all meat and check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer
-- wash hands, cutting boards and other surfaces that come into contact with raw meat
-- ensure dairy products consumed are pasturized

Symptoms of E.coli 0157 may resemble gastro-intestinal illness and can include abdominal cramps, vomiting and bloody diarrhea. Symptoms and their severity vary.

People experiencing symptoms should call 8-1-1 to speak with a nurse, or contact a health care professional.

New Brunswick has also reported five cases of E.coli 0157. Nova Scotia is working with public health in New Brunswick and the Public Health Agency of Canada to determine if there are any links or common sources of contamination.


FOR BROADCAST USE:

     The Department of Health and Wellness is investigating seven

recently confirmed cases of E.coli 0157 in the province.

     Three cases were reported in Capital District Health, one

each in Pictou District and Colchester East Hants health

authorities, and two in Guysborough Antigonish Strait Health

Authority.

     Chief Public Health Officer Robert Strang says people should

not be alarmed. Staff are working to determine the source and it

has been more than a week since a new case has been reported.

     Symptoms of E.coli 0157 can include abdominal cramps,

vomiting and bloody diarrhea but can vary.

     People experiencing symptoms should call 8-1-1 to speak with

a nurse, or contact a health care professional.

     New Brunswick has also reported five cases and agencies are

looking for links or common sources of contamination.

-30-

Media Contact: Tony Kiritsis
              Health and Wellness
              902-424-0585
              E-mail: tony.kiritsis@gov.ns.ca