Health officials unable to identify source of E. coli outbreak
Published Tuesday, July 31, 2012 7:01PM ADT
Last Updated Tuesday, July 31, 2012 7:40PM ADT
Health officials in New Brunswick say they are unable to identify the source of a recent E. coli outbreak in Fredericton. The conclusion came Tuesday after a two-week investigation.
Dr. Denis Allard, the province's acting chief medical officer of health, says the investigation into the recent outbreak has yielded little information as to its source.
“We didn’t really have enough information to be able to track down a source in these cases,” says Allard.
Health officials were able to establish that four people sickened by the bacteria did not eat common foods, however they were unable to link the cases to either where the food was purchased or consumed.
“The imprint on these bacteria were very close, so it seemed to indicate to us that there likely was a common source, a food source, but we haven't been able to find it," says Allard.
Two of the four people infected with E. coli were hospitalized, including 18-year-old Micaella Boer, who attended today’s news conference with her mother.
Victoria Boer says attending the conference was the only way she and her daughter could get information on the investigation as it is not standard practice for the province’s health department to notify individual cases about developments.
The teen was recently released from hospital and is only now capable of fully remembering the time leading up to her illness.
"I don't know if right now would be, of course it's just me speculating, a good time to stop the investigation, because now they're both home, they're both feeling good,” says Victoria Boer. “We could all sit down together and say ‘OK, let's figure this out.’”
The province says a few weeks have passed since the last case associated with the outbreak has been seen and because of that the New Brunswick Department of Health has declared the outbreak to be over.
It is the second E. coli outbreak in the province in recent weeks, but officials say there is no link between the two.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Andy Campbell