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Update: 70 Illnesses in Illinois Possibly Linked to Apple Cider

Update: As of Nov. 6 , 70 people who attended the Pike County Color Drive on Oct. 17-18. and drank apple cider have become ill. Victims range in age from less than one year to 89 years old.

Laboratory results are currently pending, per samples submitted to both the IDPH lab in Illinois and the CDC lab, in Atlanta, Georgia. Lab results are expected to help in confirming the exact organism causing these illnesses and to confirm the food source related to the illnesses.

Anyone who purchased fresh or frozen apple cider during the event is warned not to consume it.

Anyone with illnesses associated with consumption of apple cider during the Color Drive is asked to complete the survey on the Adams County Health Department website or the Pike County Health Department website even if they have already been interviewed by Health Department staff.

Nov. 4 coverage follows:

Illinois health officials are potentially linking a cluster of 30 gastrointestinal illnesses to consumption of apple cider during a recent fall festival in Pike County.

Officials with the Pike County Health Department, Adams County Health Department, and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) are investigating 30 suspect cases of illness identified in attendees of the festival who consumed apple cider purchased from vendors at two locations.

AppleCiderMainWhile the exact source of the illnesses has not yet been confirmed, officials are encouraging health care providers to test for E. coli and Cryptosporidium until further information is available.

Sickened individuals have reported symptoms including profuse diarrhea, bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and vomiting. Onset dates range from Oct. 20-28, 2015.

Some people have been hospitalized as a result of this illness, and additional illnesses continue to be reported. Further laboratory testing is pending.

Symptoms of gastrointestinal illness usually last about 1 to 2 weeks (with a range of a few days to 4 or more weeks) in persons with healthy immune systems. Occasionally, people may experience a recurrence of symptoms after a brief period of recovery before the illness ends. Symptoms can come and go for up to 30 days.

People who are especially vulnerable to this illness include pregnant women, children younger than 2 years, elderly people, and immunocompromised individuals.

Anyone who attended the festival or consumed apple cider purchased from vendors at the festival and feel that they have these symptoms should contact health care provider.

Investigators are seeking additional people with GI illness who attended the Pike County Color Drive during Oct. 17-18 and consumed apple cider purchased during the event. They are also advising anyone who has apple cider purchased during the event that is fresh or frozen for future use to not consume it and to contact their local health department so that the cider can be tested.

The contact number for the Pike County Health Department is (217) 285-4407, and the Adams County Health Department can be reached at (217) 222-8440.

Health officials who identify cases with this exposure history are asked to contact the IDPH Communicable Disease Control Section at (217) 782-2016 or to email justin.albertson@illinois.gov.

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