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April 09, 2018
Investigation continues into Tavistock E. coli cases
Public Health awaits confirmation that cured deer meat from two private hunts is responsible for the illnesses

Oxford County Public Health continues to investigate cases of Escherichia coli O157:H7, commonly called E.coli, in East Zorra Tavistock. We suspect, but cannot yet confirm, that the illnesses were caused by consumption of cured deer meat sourced and processed from two private hunts in December 2017. Laboratory results, expected later this week, will confirm if E. coli is present in the deer meat sausage products.

Oxford County Public Health received the first report of E. coli in a Tavistock resident in mid-February, with a second report following one month later in March. A third case was identified the first week of April. Public Health routinely investigates cases of E. coli to determine if there are any risks to the community.

Symptoms of E. coli include diarrhea (often bloody) and abdominal cramps. It is mostly spread through contaminated food or water or by direct contact with animals. E. coli can also be spread from person to person, which can be prevented by proper hand washing.

Residents who suspect they have E. coli should seek medical attention and contact Public Health at 519-539-9800, ext. 3500 or 1-800-755-0394.

All meat, whether purchased or obtained through hunting, should be assumed to be contaminated with E.coli. Information on cooking or processing game meat to mitigate the risk of eating meat contaminated with E. coli is available from several sources on the internet or by contacting public health at extension 3520. 



Donna Kemp | Strategic Communication & Engagement
519.539.9800, ext. 3158 |