Health officials in Livingston County, New York are investigating a series of 7 E. coli cases that have occurred in the region this month. Of the 7 victims, 4 were hospitalized as a result of their infections; 2 have since been discharged. No deaths have been reported in connection with these illnesses. The first illness was reported on August 6. The most recent was reported Sunday. Victims range in age from 22 to 67, according to the Livingston County Department of Health, as reported by the Democrat and Chronicle. Stool samples from patients have been sent to the state health lab in Albany, New York in order to identify the specific strain of E. coli infecting victims. So far, the source of the bacteria remains unknown. “We are gathering information and looking at all possibilities of the source, said Joan Ellison, Health Director of the Livingston County Department of Health, which is investigating the illnesses, according to the Democrat and Chronicle. E. coli is harbored in the intestines of animals and is transmitted through animal feces. Humans can become infected by ingesting contaminated food or water. Symptoms of E. coli infection include cramps, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. In more serious cases, diarrhea may become bloody. If you live in or near Livingston County and think you may have contracted an E. coli infection, contact LCDH at 585-243-7299.