Northern Ireland’s Public Health Agency has confirmed that 49 people have contracted E coli in an outbreak linked to a north Belfast restaurant.

The agency said there were 181 further probable incidences.

The outbreak, which has been linked to Flicks restaurant in the Cityside Mall complex, has been described as the worst ever seen in Northern Ireland.

Since the start of October, 15 people have been treated in hospital with E coli.

However, the majority have since been discharged.

Management at the restaurant have voluntarily closed the premises and are co-operating with an investigation by the PHA and environmental health officers from Belfast City Council.

Dr Carolyn Harper, Director of Public Health, PHA, said: "The PHA has activated a full public health response to this outbreak and the situation is being managed and monitored very closely."

The PHA has said the strain of E coli found this month was not the same as a strain linked to four cases connected to Flicks in August.