UPDATED: Stellarton resident among E. coli outbreak victims

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A Stellarton resident has been hospitalized with kidney failure as a result of an E. coli outbreak that has affected a dozen people in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.

Three cases were reported in Capital District Health, one each in Pictou District and Colchester East Hants health authorities, and two in Guysborough Antigonish Strait Health Authority.

Of the seven impacted in Nova Scotia, two are hospitalized, with the Stellarton case being the most severe, Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia's Chief Public Health officer.

But while they’ve been able to confirm the illness, Health officials still aren’t sure of the source of the disease and are still investigating. Strang said they have a couple ideas but are working to try to confirm. He said because the cases are widespread it's clear that it wasn't from a single source.

Those affected became sick over the holiday period, from Dec. 23- Dec. 26, he said.

Asked why the public hadn't been informed sooner, Strang said they were working on drafting a release when media started calling about it.

 Symptoms of E.coli include bloody diarrhea, cramping, fever and chills, he said. Anyone with those symptoms should call the Health Line at 811, see their doctor, or if the case is severe enough go straight to the emergency room.

To prevent and reduce the spread of E.coli 0157:

-- wash and peel all raw vegetables and fruits before eating

-- properly cook all meat and check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer

-- wash hands, cutting boards and other surfaces that come into contact with raw meat

-- ensure dairy products consumed are pasturized

Organizations: Department of Health, Pictou County District Health Authority, Colchester East Hants Health Authority

Geographic location: New Brunswick

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Recent comments

  • concerned in Stellarton
    January 10, 2013 - 08:41

    In the light of this recent news of a Stellarton resident with E. Coli, it seems to fall around the same time frame of finding out that the Stellarton water has been failing tests of the proper amount of chemicals. I have to wonder if this can be a concern tot he residents that the water is the problem. Some people consume much water, and with the rising concern of the Stellarton water crises, I have been purchasing water for drinking in my home, which I can imagine many others are doing. What is wrong with a system that gives you news about the water, which has been a problem for about a year, and an outbreak of E-Coli which goodness knows how long this had been known about. The process of giving information is a failing one. I think Stellarton residents should not pay their water bills until they are sure that it is fit for human consumption. Why pay for water, if you are afraid to drink it.with the problem going on for over a year. Who is in charge of the water testing, I think they need to go back to having more education about testing it, and who made the decision not to tell the public, until after a year, I am sure they knew about the problem long ago. Who has the final say in Town issues, is it the Mayor. How can it be if important news is not relayed to the Mayor and council about problems until a year later, what other secrets does the Town have.

  • Very Concerned
    January 08, 2013 - 10:30

    I, my family and friends are pretty much in agreement that the Aberdeen hospital is not doing a good job at looking after our health. We keep experiencing and hearing real horror stories. Many people are going to nearby hospitals rather than submit to the unprofessionalism at the Aberdeen. I would like to know if other people in Pictou County are of the same opinion and if so what can we do about it?

  • Crazyhorse
    January 04, 2013 - 15:59

    also, when using raw meat use soap and hot water. A quick rinse with hot water only spreads bacteria.