N.L. seeing increase in E. coli cases since end of May, health department warns

·1 min read
A spokesperson from the Department of Health said there have been 12 cases of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) in Newfoundland and Labrador since the end of May. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press - image credit)
A spokesperson from the Department of Health said there have been 12 cases of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) in Newfoundland and Labrador since the end of May. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press - image credit)
Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press
Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press

The Department of Health says there has been a recent increase in unrelated cases of E. coli in Newfoundland and Labrador.

A spokesperson from the department told CBC News on Wednesday there have been 12 cases of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) since the end of May. The cases have been located in the Eastern, Central and Western Health regions of the province.

In previous years, less than five cases of STEC would be reported in Newfoundland and Labrador during that same time frame, the spokesperson said.

In a media release on Wednesday, the health department said public health officials, along with the province's regional health authorities, are working with Digital Government and Service NL to investigate.

E.coli is spread primarily through the ingestion of contaminated food or water, said the Department of Health, adding person-to-person transmission can also occur.

"Careful food preparation techniques and hand washing are important in the prevention of E. coli," reads the media release.

"Anyone with severe diarrhea, bloody diarrhea and abdominal pain should seek medical attention. Food handlers, health care workers, daycare workers and children attending daycares with these symptoms should remain at home until the symptoms are resolved and they are cleared by a health care professional."

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