Information on the boil water advisory and E. coli

Winnipeg Health Region
Published Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Last night, the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority issued a precautionary boil water advisory. Retests today came back negative for E.coli - however, before an advisory can be lifted, national protocols require there must be two negative test results, 24 hours apart.

To date, no water-related illnesses have been reported in the Region. All healthcare facilities have activated contingency plans to address the risk.

The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority will continue to work with the Province and City of Winnipeg to ensure a safe environment for our patients, residents, clients, and community.

About E. coli

E. coli is an "indicator" of water contamination that we measure, and there are many other types of bacteria in water that could cause illness. However, a high amount of chlorine has been found in the same water samples measured yesterday, which is reassuring because this would suggest that any bacteria or viruses present in the water would likely be killed.

Common symptoms associated with waterborne infection include gastrointestinal symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Most people who are affected by a waterborne illness would be able to recover at home. Signs to be concerned about would be the presence of bloody diarrhea or dehydration, and people having either of those symptoms should seek medical attention.

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The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority acknowledges that it provides health services in facilities located in Treaty One and Treaty Five territories, the homelands of the Métis Nation and the original lands of the Inuit people. The WRHA respects and acknowledges harms and mistakes, and we dedicate ourselves to collaborate in partnership with First Nation, Métis and Inuit people in the spirit of reconciliation.
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