FREDERICTON, N.B. – The five recent cases of E. coli 0157:H7 reported in New Brunswick are linked, the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health has concluded.
"Laboratory results show that the patterns of the five cases are closely matching, which allows us to conclude that the cases are linked,” said Dr. Eilish Cleary, chief medical officer of health. "We are continuing our investigation into potential sources of the infection. We are also working to determine if any connections exist with cases occurring outside the province."
Two cases of E. coli 0157:H7 were reported in the Saint John region, and three more were reported in the Fredericton region. The patients are 17 to 39 years old.
Cleary reminded New Brunswickers it is important they wash their hands thoroughly after using the bathroom or changing diapers, and that they take food safety precautions such as:
● washing or peeling all raw vegetables and fruits before eating;
● thoroughly cooking all meats (meat, poultry and seafood);
● preventing contact between cooked foods and raw poultry and other meats; and
● only drinking and eating pasteurized dairy products.
Symptoms of E. coli 0157:H7 resemble gastro-intestinal illness, such as severe cramps, diarrhea (often bloody), abdominal pain and vomiting. Some people may develop anemia and kidney problems.
Cleary said anyone experiencing symptoms compatible with E.coli 0157:H7 should seek advice from their health-care provider and should follow good hygiene practices to prevent further spread of this infection.