A North Belfast woman has become the second confirmed case of the potentially fatal E-coli bacterium after spending more than a week on hospital recovering from the illness.

The Antrim Road woman, who asked not to be named, believes she contracted the illness after eating dinner at a restaurant with her family. However health experts have so far been unable to trace the source. The case comes after our sister paper The Andersontown News revealed last week that a West Belfast man was also recovering from the illness.

The woman had eaten out with her family on Monday August 13 and began to feel ill later the same week. She was due to travel to Fermanagh for a long weekend that Friday but while en route her condition deteriorated.

She became violently ill with severe stomach cramps and began passing blood. She was then admitted to hospital in Fermanagh where she had to stay for more than a week.

The woman’s mother said her daughter is still recovering from her ordeal almost a week after being released from hospital.

“For the first few days she thought it was maybe food poisoning,” she said.

”It was only when environmental health people actually went into hospital to talk to her that we realised it was E-coli. It was very worrying because she was so ill and only had a new baby a few months old.

“It was a terrible few days and even now she isn’t back to her full self. She’s lost a lot of weight.’

The woman said her family was extremely worried because the virus can be potentially fatal and although can be passed on through eating contaminated food and being in contact with animals, it can also be passed on from someone who is suffering from the illness.

“My daughter has a wee baby who is just eight months and the worry was that she would get it too,’ said the woman.

”If a baby got E-coli you don’t know what could have happened. We just want the environmental health people to find out the source of this.”

A sposkesperson for the the Public Health Agency (PHA said, “The Public Health Agency is aware of a small number of cases of E. coli 0157 among adults in Belfast who are now recovering after receiving hospital treatment.