Vancouver Coastal Health is investigating the source of a gastro intestinal outbreak that affected participants and spectators of the Test of Metal mountain bike race in Squamish earlier this month.
As of Thursday, June 28, 18 confirmed cases of Campylobacter infection have been recorded, all among those who either took part in or watched the Test of Metal race in Squamish June 16 th . Approximately 800 racers from B.C., Alberta and Washington state participated in the 67-kilometre race.
“All of the people who’ve been sick were either riders or spectators, no one from the community or surrounding area has reported symptoms,” said Medical Health Officer Dr. Paul Martiquet. “Our goal in following up with those who attended the race is to determine the source of the bacteria, so this doesn’t happen again.”
Race organizers are working with VCH and the B.C. Centre for Disease Control to contact participants and distribute an electronic survey that will help identify potential sources of contamination. Participants can also contact the Environmental Health office in Squamish toll free at 1-877-892 2231 or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org .
Campylobacter is a common cause of diarrhea in
B.C. and the world. Those who become infected with Campylobacter may experience
diarrhea, nausea, stomach pain, fever and vomiting for anywhere between two and
seven days. Sometimes a person can be infected and have no symptoms.
“You can protect yourself and your family from infection by ensuring that you wash your hands thoroughly before eating, when handling food, after using the toilet and after touching animals, ” said Dr. Martiquet. “And it’s never a good idea to drink untreated water from creeks or streams.”