E. coli Infection in Canada
Every year, approximately 470 Canadians are infected with E. coli bacteria, which can cause severe illness and, in a small minority of cases, death. Though the illness has been called “hamburger disease,” based on its association with ground beef patties containing infection-causing E. coli, it can be transmitted through a variety of other foods, untreated water and contact with the fecal matter of infected people and animals. Several deadly, high-profile E. coli outbreaks have occurred in Canada since the 1980s. They have resulted in greater public awareness, as well as changes in regulations and health practices.