Over 200 sick with E. coli from Harvey’s; one child ‘very ill’ in hospital

The E. coli O157:H7 outbreak linked to a North Bay, Ontario, Harvey’s burger joint, is going from bad to worse.

The North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit said today there are now a total of 207 cases, of which 39 are lab confirmed for E. coli O157:H7.

“Although we can reveal few details to avoid identifying anyone, there is one child who is very ill and in hospital,” said Dr. Catherine Whiting, Medical Officer of Health. “This person meets the criteria for complications from an E. coli infection, specifically Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome or HUS.”

The restaurant has been closed since Oct. 12. That’s more than enough time for DNA fingerprinting and to see if there are any matches with rather numerous E. coli outbreaks going on throughout North America. The CBC reports food samples have tested negative for the E. coli strain, and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s investigation has turned to testing food handlers. After only 11 days? Wow.  If this was an animal disease, CFIA would be all over it. But, it’s just people.