Updated October 31. 2008 1:53PM

E-coli breaks out in Hancock County

GateHouse News Service

Fri Oct 31, 2008, 03:04 PM CDT

Carthage, Ill.


Source of Article: http://www.macombjournal.com/news/x635421107/E-coli-breaks-out-in-Hancock-County

Recently discovered cases of e-coli in southeast Iowa and one in Hancock County have public health officials searching for a source.

On Thursday Illinois Department of Public Health spokesperson Melanie Arnold said the Hancock County case was confirmed as e-coli.

She said health officials have determined that one of the two confirmed Iowa cases of e-coli is not connected to the Hancock County case. Officials are still looking into the second case.

'They don't believe they had any common contact,' Arnold said.

The Hancock County Health Department isn't releasing details about the local case.
Arnold said the cases help stress the need for proper hygiene practices, such as good hand washing.  E-coli is caused by contact with fecal matter and can be passed between people, particularly through contaminate food or water.

The state health department recommends washing hands thoroughly with soap and water before and after eating and before and after fixing any foods, especially raw meat.

The major symptom of e-coli contact is diarrhea followed by stomach cramps and chills. Symptoms typically start three to four days after exposure but can be between two and eight days.



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