The head of the Canadian province of Ontario said Friday that 86 new cases of cannabis-related illness have been reported among students and staff in the past five days.
“Across the province, the response to this challenge has been fluid, particularly since it became clear that this outbreak was not limited to specific areas of Toronto,” Health Minister Christine Elliott said in a statement.
The Canadian province also said a total of 488 of the 902 hospitals that have reported confirmed cases now have diagnostic testing available to confirm the presence of cannabis toxins in an individual’s system.
The 22 public hospitals in Toronto, Ontario’s largest city, have reported 729 students and 46 staff members being admitted for exposure.
So far, it is not clear what the sources of the new cases are, nor what overall increases have been reported in rates of sickness in some cases since Wednesday.
“People should take care of themselves and not overreact,” Elliot said. “We continue to see some good things — thousands of Ontarians going to the doctor and getting tested for these potential toxin samples. There are positive results, unfortunately, too, but it is critical for people to be aware, since we really can’t get a diagnosis without testing at the lab.”