Update, Friday, 3:45 p.m.: E. coli Investigation Continues

November 14, 2008 - Campus Bulletin

There is no change in the number of confirmed E. coli cases, which remain at seven, all of whom are U of G students. It's believed the students became ill between Oct. 21 and Nov. 6, and that the probable cases Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health continues to monitor also fall within that time frame. Symptoms typically develop anywhere from 12 hours or as long as three to 10 days after infection. The strain, identified as E. coli 0157, has been linked to other outbreaks in the Halton, Niagara and Waterloo regions. U of G was first told that Public Health was investigating an E. coli outbreak on campus Nov. 6.

Given that, and following an inspection by Public Health, the University will re-open the Pita Pit in the University Centre Monday following the health agency's criteria. The University voluntarily closed the restaurant last Friday. Saturday, Hospitality Services stopped serving all lettuce on campus as a precautionary measure.

The University is deeply concerned for the health of those who have become ill and continues to take this situation very seriously. No students are currently in hospital.

Public Health has expanded its investigation to all of Wellington-Dufferin county and is following a number of probable cases, so the number of confirmed cases may rise as test results come back. Update information is available on the Public Health website.

While a source has yet to be identified, Public Health has said the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency are investigating lettuce as part of their provincial investigation.

The University is in regular contact with Public Health and will be following its lead and direction. Our course of action will be determined by the health agency's recommendations.

Some people infected with E. coli may have mild diarrhea or no symptoms at all. Most identified cases develop severe bloody diarrhea that appears red or black, abdominal cramps, nausea and/or vomiting.

If you or any of your family members currently have or recently experienced any of these symptoms, please call Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health at 519-846-2715 or 1-800-265-7293, Ext. 2673.

For more information visit the Public Health website. Information on E. coli is also available by visiting the University's Food Safety Network website or by calling the network's toll free phone line at 1-866-503-7638.

The University has also developed a website for frequently asked questions regarding the outbreak.

This web page will be updated as new information becomes available.

University of Guelph
50 Stone Road East
Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1