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Number of E.coli cases in Newfoundland and Labrador outbreak rises to 24

A file photo of a strain of the E. coli bacteria.
A file photo of a strain of the E. coli bacteria. Janice Carr/CDC via AP

The number of confirmed E. coli cases in Newfoundland and Labrador has risen to 24.

A spokesperson for the province’s Department of Health and Community Services says two more cases were confirmed over the weekend.

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The department issued an advisory on Friday saying 22 cases had been confirmed in the province over the previous week.

Most of them were within the province’s eastern health authority, which includes St. John’s, with a few others falling in the central and western regions.

The department advised people experiencing symptoms of E. coli, including severe or bloody diarrhea and abdominal pain, to seek medical attention.

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Some cases have been linked to Memorial University, which last week said Eastern Health was investigating reports of 21 students experiencing gastrointestinal illness.

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Test results indicated at least one student “may have contracted the E. coli bacteria,” which is spread mostly through ingestion but can be spread by person-to-person contact, the university said Wednesday.

A spokesman said an inspection by food safety authorities found the school’s dining hall to have safe processes in place.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 7, 2019.