August 20, 2014 12:05 pm
Updated: August 20, 2014 8:00 pm

48 cases of E. coli in Edmonton, source unknown


WATCH: While E. coli is usually transmitted through improperly cooked meat, doctors are stumped about the source of a recent Alberta outbreak. Francis Silvaggio reports.

EDMONTON – Alberta Health Services says 122 people across the province have been diagnosed with potentially dangerous E. coli germs over the past month.

The health agency says the type of bacteria found in these cases is E. coli 0157:h7. It can cause severe illness including cramping, bloody diarrhea and kidney failure.

Since July 15, health officials have confirmed 59 cases in Calgary, 48 cases in Edmonton, seven cases in the South, six cases in the North and two cases in the Central zone.

AHS says it hasn’t found the source of the E.coli, which is usually found in the intestines of humans and animals. It also doesn’t know if all the cases are linked.

Earlier this month some people were admitted to hospital in Edmonton with E. coli that was linked to reports of contaminated bean sprouts.

Here are some ways you can avoid E. coli:

  • Cook beef to at least 71 degrees Celsius (160 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • Thoroughly wash fruits and vegetables before eating them
  • Wash your hands with hot, soapy water when you’re in the kitchen, especially when handling raw meat
  • Wash any tools and kitchen surfaces that have touched raw meat
  • Use only pasteurized milk, dairy, and juice products.
  • Use only treated, or chlorinated, drinking water

Anyone with diarrheal illness, especially bloody diarrhea, should consider seeking medical attention.

If you believe you may have contracted E. coli, call the Alberta Health Link at 1-866-408-5465.

With files from the Canadian Press

© 2014 Shaw Media

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