The case is one of seven confirmed in Nova Scotia, including three in Halifax, one in Pictou County and two in Antigonish, Strang told the Truro Daily News. The Truro case did not require hospitalization although others in the province did, including one that involved kidney failure.
All cases were reported over the holiday period, Strang said, and officials are working on the premise that they are related to five cases of E. coli confirmed in New Brunswick.
“We started to get reports of this after Christmas,” he said. “It certainly looks like we’re dealing with a common food product.”
E. coli, officially known as Escherichia coli, refers to a large group of bacteria commonly found in the intestines of humans and animals. While most strains are harmless, some can make people sick, causing severe stomach cramps, diarrhea and vomiting.
Serious complications can lead to infection and can include kidney failure.
Strang said there is no cause for the general public to be alarmed but he did encourage people to maintain proper handwashing and other hygiene practices along with safe food handling and preparation practices, which are key to preventing the spread of E. coli.
Anyone who thinks they are infected with E. coli bacteria or any other foodborne illness, should not not prepare food for other people. It's also wise to keep pets away from food storage and preparation areas.
Symptoms of E. coli infection usually start within about three to four days after exposure but the incubation period can be as short as one day or as long as 10 days.
Anyone who believes they may be affected should call the province’s 811 health help line or see a doctor.