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10 cases of E. coli in South Zone

Alberta Health is calling the number of E. coli cases in this province an outbreak. More than 100 cases have been reported in Alberta but health officials haven’t been able to pinpoint the cause.

“We are seeing a higher number of cases than normal and that’s why it’s considered an outbreak,” said Karin Goodison, Medical Officer of Health for the south zone

So far a single cause of the outbreak has not been identified. Alberta Health is investigating and are trying to link the cases here in Lethbridge to the others across the province.

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“What you are looking at is dietary and exposure histories for a variety of people across a variety of places in Alberta. A lot of the cases are from Calgary and Edmonton and they are looking at at where they’ve eaten, whether they’ve gone swimming, recreation facilities or what water source they are drinking from. It’s a lot of detective work,” adds Goodison.

Tests have revealed that this particular strain isn’t found outside Alberta, meaning whatever is making people sick was produced or grown in the province.

Here is the breakdown of numbers across Alberta

– North Zone 7
– Edmonton Zone 53
– Central Zone 6
– Calgary Zone 73
– South Zone 10

There are a total of 149 cases in Alberta

Alberta Health Services says it hasn’t found the source of the E. coli, which is usually found in the intestines of humans and animals. Health officials say E. coli has a three to seven day incubation period, meaning people could be infected for days before experiencing any symptoms.