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At least 49 cases of E.coli after outbreak at Belfast restaurant

Northern Ireland’s Public Health Agency says over 200 people may have contracted the bug from Flicks restaurant.

File photo of a sample of E.coli in a Petri dish.
File photo of a sample of E.coli in a Petri dish.
Image: adonofrio via Flickr

AT LEAST 49 PEOPLE – and possibly as many as 200 – have contracted E.coli after an outbreak in a Belfast restaurant last month, a Northern Ireland body has said.

The Public Health Agency says there are 181 probable cases of infection from E.coli O157, in addition to the 49 confirmed cases.

The agency said it was continuing to investigate the outbreak at Flicks restaurant at the Cityside Mall on Belfast’s York Street, which has since been closed.

The same restaurant was investigated in August after several cases were linked to it, but all tests on the restaurant at that time were negative.

“In addition, further environmental health inspections were conducted, all of which were satisfactory, and enhanced surveillance to monitor for cases was also put in place,” the PHA said

“The current cases came to light through that enhanced monitoring.”

15 people have been treated in hospital for the outbreak since the beginning of the month, but most have since been discharged.

The PHA says anyone who ate at Flicks September 24, and has suffered any unusual symptoms such as diarrhoea (especially if they are passing blood) or abdominal pain should contact their GP.

PHA director of public health, Dr Carolyn Harper, said some of the symptoms of E.coli O157 can include” diarrhoea, which can range from mild to profuse watery or bloody diarrhoea, tummy cramps, nausea or vomiting”.

Read: E.coli found on more than a quarter of household cloths

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Gavan Reilly

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