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April 15, 2005

CANADA: Ontario warns on unpasteurised milk after fourth E. coli case

Ontario’s chief medical officer of health Dr Sheela Basrur, Ontario’s has warned against drinking unpasteurised milk after a fourth case of E. coli O157 was found in the province.

Ontario’s chief medical officer of health Dr Sheela Basrur, Ontario’s has warned against drinking unpasteurised milk after a fourth case of E. coli O157 was found in the province.

The first three cases were reported in Barrie earlier this week, the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care said. The fourth case involves a seven-year-old child from Toronto. The child was treated in hospital and is now recovering at home.

Toronto Public Health is also investigating the sibling of the seven year-old for possible E. coli infection. All individuals under investigation drank unpasteurised milk distributed in Barrie. It is illegal to sell, offer to sell, deliver or distribute unpasteurised milk, the ministry said.

“Drinking unpasteurised milk is dangerous for everyone. Parents need to be particularly aware that giving this milk to children can result in very serious illness and can lead to death,” Dr Basrur said. “Anyone with nausea, fever, vomiting or diarrhoea who consumed unpasteurised milk should contact their doctor immediately.”

Dr. Basrur also urged members of the public to report sales of unpasteurised milk.

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