Five more cases of Escherichia coli O157 have been identified in the current, ongoing outbreak in Canada, health officials report. The additional cases are reported from Ontario (2) and Quebec (3).


This brings the total in the nationwide outbreak to 31 as of Monday.

The 31 cases of E.coli with a matching genetic fingerprint reported in Alberta (1), Ontario (11), Quebec (17) and Nova Scotia (2).

The Public Health Agency of Canada says a specific source or product has not been identified yet, and the investigation is ongoing.

E. coli are bacteria that live naturally in the gut/feces of a variety of animals including cattle and poultry. People can also carry the bacteria in their gut. Common sources of E. coli are raw or undercooked food products that have been contaminated with the bacteria. Most E. coli are harmless to people, but some varieties carry genes that allow them to cause illness.

Most people with an E. coli infection are ill for a few days and then recover fully, however infections can sometimes be life threatening.

Robert Herriman is a microbiologist and the Editor-in-Chief of Outbreak News Today and the Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch

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