124 confirmed E. coli cases

Published Thursday, 25 October 2012
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The number of confirmed cases of E. coli food poisoning linked to a north Belfast restaurant now stands at 124, with 166 probable cases.

124 confirmed E. coli cases
Flicks restaurant at Cityside Mall, Belfast. (© Pacemaker)

Flicks restaurant in the Cityside Mall on York Street has already closed voluntarily and is continuing to cooperate with the investigation.

A statement from the Public Health Agency (PHA) read: "The increase in confirmed cases over recent days is not unexpected and is as a result of probable cases becoming confirmed following testing.

"The number of probable cases is levelling off as fewer new reports are coming forward."

The PHA is working with Environmental Health Officers from Belfast City Council to investigate the outbreak.

The latest figures were released on Wednesday afternoon.

The confirmed E. coli cases in October are Type 54.

In August, four cases were linked to the restaurant. They were confirmed as Type 8.

However, all tests carried out at the restaurant at the time came back negative.

The PHA is advising anyone who ate at Flicks restaurant since 24 September and has symptoms of diarrhoea - especially bloody diarrhoea - and/or abdominal pain to contact their GP urgently for medical advice.

Dr Carolyn Harper, of the PHA, explained: "Escherichia coli bacteria are commonly found in the intestines of humans and animals. There are many different types of E. coli, and while some live in the intestine quite harmlessly, others may cause a variety of diseases.

"The bacterium is found in faeces and can survive in the environment.

"Symptoms caused by E. coli O157 can include diarrhoea, which can range from mild to profuse watery or bloody diarrhoea, tummy cramps, nausea or vomiting."

© UTV News
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