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F.ood & H.ealth : B.iological A.gents Last Updated: Dec 4th, 2006 - 19:23:52

E. Col outbreak sickens more than 35 in NJ and LI
By Ben Wasserman -
Dec 4, 2006, 19:21

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An outbreak of E. coli has sickened more than 35 in New Jersey and on Long Island, the New York Times reported today. The investigation is ongoing with preliminary evidence pointing the cases of E. coli illness to Taco Bell restaurants.

Two of victims in New Jersey developed potentially a fatal condition known as hemolytic uremic syndrome, which can cause death or permanent damage to the kidneys, the report cited health officials as saying.

One Taco Bell was closed in South Plainfield NJ where nine out of the 11 people who suffered E coli infection dined and became sick from Nov 22 to 25, according to the report.

Four Taco Bell outlets in Suffolk County were also closed while Nassau County officials were pressing the restaurant chain to close another four in the country as a precaution measure.

In Nassau County, at least three people including an 11-year old boy became ill and at least one of them ate at Taco Bell.

It is not immediately clear whether cases of E. coli in NJ and LI are linked. The food the victims ate at Taco Bell restaurants remains also unknown.

Most E. coli strains harboring in humans and animals are harmless while some can sicken people causing so called E. coli infections after eating vegetables and uncooked meat contaminated with animal feces.

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