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article imageInvestigation into E. coli outbreak in Alberta, Canada expands

By Karen Graham     Apr 21, 2018 in Health
Alberta Health Services (AHS) Environmental Public Health has expanded its investigation into the source of an outbreak of E. coli O157:H7, beyond cases directly linked to an Edmonton restaurant late last month.
The outbreak of E. coli has sickened 34 people, resulting in the hospitalization of 11 and one death as of April 20, 2018, according to CTV News Canada.
Alberta Health Services is reporting that 21 of these lab-confirmed cases are linked to Mama Nita’s Binalot restaurant in Edmonton, the agency no longer has public health concerns related to this business since it was identified that a cluster of people with lab-confirmed E. coli O157:H7 ate at the restaurant.
Unknown source for new cases under investigation
As for the 13 lab-confirmed cases of E. coli O157:H7 that have popped up - AHS says they have no known links to Mama Nita’s Binalot, and the source of these infections is still unknown, although AHS thinks they may be related to the original outbreak, according to CBC Canada.
"This outbreak is extremely complex, however AHS, in partnership with other provincial and federal agencies, is doing all we can to protect the health of Albertans. The risk of illness remains very low,” said Dr. Chris Sikora, Medical Officer of Health, Edmonton Zone.
E. coli infections are generally caused when a person eats food or drinks water that is contaminated with human or animal feces, or through direct contact with a person who is sick or with animals that carry the bacteria.
Symptoms of an E. coli infection can include bloody diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps and in rare cases, kidney failure. And while the majority of people who do get sick from E. coli infections will improve on their own within about 10 days, children, the elderly and the immunocompromised are at greater risk of complications from this strain of E. coli.
Anyone with questions or concerns can contact Health Link to speak to a registered nurse 24 hours a day, seven days a week, by dialing 811.
More about Alberta Canada, E coli outbreak, One death, E coli O157H7, Mama Nita's Binalot restaurant
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