Confirmed E. coli cases rises to 49

Published Saturday, 20 October 2012
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The number of confirmed E. coli cases linked to a north Belfast restaurant has risen to 49, with 181 probable cases being probed.

Confirmed E. coli cases rises to 49
Investigations into the outbreak continue. (© Pacemaker)

The Public Health Agency released the latest figures on Saturday afternoon.

Flicks restaurant in the Cityside Mall has already closed voluntarily and is continuing to cooperate with the investigation by the Public Health Agency (PHA) and Environmental Health Officers from Belfast City Council.

Four cases of the Type 8 strain of E. coli were linked to the York Street restaurant in August, but tests carried out by officials at the time proved negative.

According to the PHA, there were no cases of E. coli associated with Flicks in the six week period between the end of August and 9 October.

This month's outbreak has been caused by a separate strain - Type 54 - to cases previously investigated.

Dr Carolyn Harper, Director of Public Health with the agency, said: "The PHA has activated a full public health response to this outbreak and the situation is being managed and monitored very closely.

"It is vital that everyone follows some simple rules to prevent the spread of E. coli - not just those with symptoms, but everyone should wash their hands after using the toilet and before eating or preparing food.

"Raw and cooked food should be kept completely separate, raw meat should be cooked through and vegetables and fruit should be washed thoroughly before eating.

"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," Dr Harper added.

Anyone who has eaten at Flicks restaurant since 24 September and has symptoms of diarrhoea - especially bloody diarrhoea - and/or abdominal pain should contact their GP urgently for medical advice.
© UTV News
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