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Health Bulletins

E. Coli Outbreak In Europe

Statement from Dr. Arlene King, Chief Medical Officer of Health

June 6, 2011

Ontario has one suspect case of E. coli linked to the outbreak in Europe. This is the first suspect case in Canada. This case has a travel history to Germany and consumed local products while in that country. While confirmatory lab results will take a few more days, initial testing has confirmed the presence of toxin compatible with the current E. coli outbreak in Europe.

I would like to assure Ontarians that we are following the E.coli outbreak in Europe very closely. Alerts have been issued to all health units advising them to immediately report to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care any cases of E. coli with a travel history to Germany.

The risk to Ontarians from this outbreak is very low. However, people should always follow standard measures to prevent any type of E. coli infection. This means carefully washing all fruits and vegetables to reduce contamination, and thoroughly cooking meats, such as ground beef, which will kill any bacteria.

People should always practice good hand hygiene, particularly after using the washroom, after handling animals, and before preparing foods or eating.

If people have recently travelled to Germany and are experiencing diarrhea or severe tiredness, paleness and reduced urinary output following diarrhea, they should visit a health care practitioner and inform them of their recent travel to the country.

People who are planning a trip to Germany should visit the Public Health Agency of Canada travel advisory website before traveling and keep up to date on information from local health authorities during their trip.

Members of the media :

Andrew Morrison, 416-314-6197
Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

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