Canada

Walkerton E. coli deaths could rise to 18

Ontario's coroner is now looking at an additional four deaths to see if they're linked to the E. coli outbreak last month in the town of Walkerton.

That means the coroner is investigating a total of 18 deaths. The most recent is that of a 25-year-old man from Walkerton who died Monday.

It's been confirmed that seven people have died from drinking water contaminated with the E. coli bacteria.

Up to 2,000 people infected with E. coli have suffered severe symptoms including bloody diarrhea, nausea and stomach cramps.

The town is on a boil-water alert and relying on bottled water until crews finish flushing out the water system with chlorine. That could take seven more weeks.

But one of Walkerton's wells is still recording high levels of E. coli. Investigators say there's a chance the bacteria is still working its way through the system or is continuing to enter the water supply somewhere.

Officials stopped water tests at the well this week so they could remove a pump and lower a video camera inside to look at the interior.

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