Quebec: 815 confirmed cases of water-borne antibiotic-resistant bacteria

Image copyright Reuters Image caption A demonstration before the implementation of the proposed measures in Quebec

Quebec’s government says it has now recorded 815 confirmed cases of a serious bacterial infection that has put a significant number of emergency rooms on alert.

The Health Department says three more victims have died.

After a large spike in August, which spread to Europe, the Health Department has spread out its control of the cases.

It confirmed the new deaths during a news conference on Friday.

In total, 384 people have been infected with the potentially fatal bug, an expansion of 37 in a single day.

The government says the average age of the patients is just 47.

Paramedics in several parts of Quebec say emergency rooms have been busy and equipment temporarily taken offline.

Image copyright Reuters Image caption Polluted water had led to the rise in the infection

The biggest increase in cases was in the region of Riviere-du-Loup, near Montreal, which saw an average of 10 new cases a day rise to 25 by Friday morning.

The Health Department says additional chlorine has been added to water supplies in some parts of the province, including Quebec City.

Quebec is America’s easternmost province and some people have travelled through French Canada before they landed in the US.

So far in 2018, the number of cases of this strain, called Candida auris, rose dramatically as many of those patients who found themselves sick came back from the US.

The increase was so great in Montreal that the outbreak spread across Canada.

South of the border, two cases have been confirmed in Vermont.

Health officials there said they were aware of the surge in cases and would monitor the infection.

“The unconfirmed case at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center is a person who recently travelled back to the US and, as with all cases from Canada and the UK, is being monitored in a hospital setting where they will be closely monitored for signs of infection,” State Health Officer Dr. Robert Lucier said.

The World Health Organization said in a statement that it was monitoring “the recent case outbreak and is working with authorities across Canada to find the source of the bacteria”.

However, some experts say they think this outbreak is due to a warm winter.

In November 2016, A fatal outbreak of crypto began in Mexico.

It then spread to the United States and Canada, sending people to emergency rooms with fever and exhaustion.

“Stress from work, travel, being away from home, your regular routine can lead to these pathogens surviving outside in the environment,” said Vicky Boudreau, medical director of the Infectious Diseases Society of America’s (IDSA) Department of Infectious Diseases.

Analysis by Sadaf Ahsan, BBC World health correspondent

Its modern burrito restaurant may be coming back from its local tight-to-the-ground base, but that doesn’t mean the presence of bacteria is any less noticed by public health officials.

A reported doubling of cases is just the tip of the iceberg. As a global food producer, cantaloupe from Mexico is no stranger to recalls.

Food safety is a growing worry in itself, yet public health officials are concerned that the scary new message of a potentially deadly illness that simply comes and goes – a new form of an old problem – is not getting out fast enough.

They are not saying they have spotted a new outbreak yet, but they are worried enough about the numbers of people infected with a new form of Candida that they’ve asked people at risk to get in touch. They are being told not to cook, and that they should avoid going to the local ice-cream parlour.

Though they understand there are some people who simply don’t care about them, they know many do.

They want to be on the lookout for them, but feel so overwhelmed that they don’t know how. It can be confusing.

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