Friday, August 22, 2014

Alberta E. Coli Outbreak: 122 Cases Confirmed

Colony of E. coli cells are grown in the synthetic biology lab at Harvard Medical School in Boston on Aug. 23, 2011. (Photo by Wendy Maeda/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
Alberta Health Services says 122 people across the province have been diagnosed with potentially dangerous E. coli germs over the past month.

The health agency says the type of bacteria found in these cases is E. coli 0157:h7, which can cause severe illness including cramping, bloody diarrhea and kidney failure.

Officials say since July 15 there have been 59 confirmed cases in Calgary, 48 cases in Edmonton, seven cases in the South, six cases in the North and two cases in the Central zone.

Alberta Health Services says it hasn't found the source of the E. coli, which is usually found in the intestines of humans and animals, or whether the cases are linked.

Earlier this month some people were admitted to hospital in Edmonton with E. coli that was linked to reports of contaminated bean sprouts.

Health officials say people can prevent the spread of E. coli by cooking beef to at least 160 F, thoroughly washing fruits and vegetables and washing your hands with hot, soapy water after touching raw meat.

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