Epidemiological information: Outbreak of E. coli infections

Related Public Health Notice

June 2, 2017


Dates available for 30 cases.

What is epidemiology?

Epidemiology is the study of disease in a population. Epidemiologists, or "disease detectives," use surveillance systems to identify those who are sick and confirm that the sick people are part of this event. They then gather information from the people who got sick and review the clues from all parts of the investigation that might reveal the cause of the illness event.

The figure below forms part of the epidemiological investigation into this outbreak. An "epi curve" (Figure 1) is a valuable reference tool in any epidemiological investigation. An epi curve shows when cases begin, when they peak, and when they trail off. Certain details of the people who got sick (Table 1) also help epidemiologists as they work to solve the questions involved in foodborne illness.

Figure 1: Number of people infected with E. coli 0121

Figure 1

Text Equivalent - Figure 1Number of people infected with E. coli O121

Table 1 -  People confirmed to be infected with E. coli O121 by week of illness onset or specimen collection
Week of symptom onset or specimen collection Number of cases
06-Nov-2016 0
13-Nov-2016 1
20-Nov-2016 1
27-Nov-2016 5
4-Dec-2016 2
11-Dec-2016 2
18-Dec-2016 2
25-Dec-2016 2
1-Jan-2017 1
8-Jan-2017 3
15-Jan-2017 2
22-Jan-2017 3
29-Jan-2017 0
5-Feb-2017 0
12-Feb-2017 1
19-Feb-2017 0
26-Feb-2017 2
5-Mar-2017 0
12-Mar-2017 0
19-Mar-2017 2
26-Mar-2017 0
02-Apr-2017 1
09-Apr-2017 0
Table 2: At a Glance
Outbreak status Ongoing
Case count 30
Visitors to Canada 1
Provinces/Territories 6
Hospitalizations 8
Deaths 0
Gender (m:f) 15:15
Age range in years 2-79
Recall Yes
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