Update on E.coli 0157 Link

Health and Wellness

January 9, 2013 1:40 PM

The Department of Health and Wellness received confirmation that five of the Nova Scotia cases are linked to the E.coli 0157:H7 sub-type cases in New Brunswick and Ontario.

"This confirmation tells us we are on the right track in our investigation," said Dr. Frank Atherton, Nova Scotia's deputy chief medical officer of health. "This is a multi-provincial outbreak and we have yet to identify a common source, but continue to work with our local, jurisdictional and national partners."

Specimens from the remaining five cases have been sent to the national lab in Winnipeg for further testing to identify if they too are part of the E.coli 0157:H7 sub-type.

Since the outbreak was reported Nova Scotia has had 10 confirmed cases. Five cases were reported in Capital District Health, one each in Pictou District, Cumberland District, and Colchester East Hants health authorities, and two in Guysborough Antigonish Strait Health Authority.

All patients have been seen by health-care professionals and are either recovering or recovered.

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.


FOR BROADCAST USE:

     The Department of Health and Wellness received confirmation

that five of the Nova Scotia cases are linked to the E.coli

0157:H7 sub-type cases in New Brunswick and Ontario.

     Nova Scotia's deputy chief medical officer of health Dr.

Frank Atherton says the department is on the right track to

identifying a potential source of the multi-provincial outbreak.

     Specimens from the remaining five cases have been sent to

the national lab in Winnipeg for further testing to identify if

they too are part of the same E.coli 0157 strain.

     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.

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