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