Harvey's was ordered to close on October 12th, after it was linked to an outbreak of E. coli o157:H7 that sickened 251 individuals (50 lab-confirmed) in North Bay, 10 other Ontario health districts, Québec (1 case) and British Columbia (1 case). One of the victims, a seven-year old boy, is still hospitalized with in Toronto with hemolytic uremic syndrome. The source of the E. coli O157:H7 still has not been determined.
In what may be a coincidence – or perhaps a spurt of secondary infections – the district is investigating four possible cases of E. coli illness among four children in one Senior Kindergarten classroom at Sunset Park Public School. Children from that classroom have been asked to stay home while the classroom is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. The Senior Kindergarten classes will resume tomorrow, but parents have been reminded to keep sick children at home.
While the District Health Unit says that its investigation into the Harvey's E. coli O157:H7 outbreak is continuing, chances are very slender that the source will ever be found – unless the same strain pops up again, either in North Bay or elsewhere.