By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

Health officials in Newfoundland and Labrador are reporting an E. coli outbreak in the province. The Department of Health and Community Services advises that there have been 22 confirmed cases of E.coli in the province this week, and Public Health officials within the department, as well as the regional health authorities are working with Service NL to investigate.

Newfoundland and Labrador

A provincial medical officer of health says most cases are within the province’s eastern health authority, including the capital city of St. John’s, but others are in the central and western authorities.

Dr. Janice Fitzgerald said some of the cases are connected to an advisory issued by Memorial University earlier this week, saying Eastern Health was investigating reports of students experiencing gastrointestinal illness.

E.coli is spread primarily through the ingestion of contaminated food or water. Person-to-person transmission can also occur. Careful food preparation techniques and hand washing are important in the prevention of E.coli.

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.