30 sick, 12 confirmed; New Brunswick investigators continue search for causes of E. coli outbreaks

New Brunswick media are reporting public health officials continue to seek the causes of two sets of E. coli outbreaks in New Brunswick – one in Miramichi and the other in the Saint John area.

Speaking in the legislature Tuesday, Minister of Health Madeleine Dubé said authorities have investigated 30 cases involving people of various ages – between their teens and middle age – who reported symptoms of the infection, which can be fatal.

"The source itself, they’re still investigating and water was ruled out," she said, referring specifically to the Miramichi outbreak. "They’re looking in food and we’re still doing our work," Dubé said.

The 12 cases of E. coli that have been confirmed in Miramichi and two others in Bathurst are linked, she said.

The cases in Miramichi and Bathurst have been diagnosed as E. coli O157:H7.

Dubé said authorities are also investigating an outbreak of a different strain of E. coli that affected two other people in Saint John and is not linked to the Miramichi outbreak.

Over the weekend, it was determined through stool samples that the Saint John E. coli cases are of a different strain than the ones afflicting patients in Miramichi and Bathurst, meaning they’re not connected.