by in E. Coli, Escherichia Coli (E. coli)

An outbreak of foodborne illnesses associated with a festival in Illinois continues to grow. Seventy people have now been infected with either E. coli or Cryptosporidium. These cases of illness were caused by apple cider that was sold and distributed at the Pike County Color Drive. The West Illinois fair was held on October 17 and October 18, 2015. This is yet another outbreak caused by apple cider. Health officials have warned that the apple cider at the fair may be contaminated, and have also recommended testing for E. coli and Cryptosporidium.

Cryptosporidiosis is caused by the parasite Cryptosporidium and results in symptoms such as vomiting, fever, watery diarrhea, and stomach cramps. Symptoms usually begin between 2 and 10 days after infection and last about 1 to 2 weeks.  Many people recover without medical intervention, but if the illness does not disappear, medical attention may be required.

E. coli are a family of bacteria that is found in the intestines of many animals. Some strains of the bacteria that are found in the intestines of cattle can cause infection in humans. This can happen when contaminated food is consumed. Symptoms can appear between 3 and 10 days after infection, and will include vomiting, bloody diarrhea, and abdominal cramping. E. coli infections can be very serious. The infection may cause a complication called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). HUS damages red blood cells, which in turn can cause kidney damage or failure.

If you or a loved one drank or purchased cider at the Pike County Color Drive and began to show the symptoms of E. coli or Cryptosporidium poisoning, contact a medical professional.