Apple cider suspected in western Illinois outbreak

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Apple cider

PITTSFIELD, Ill. — Health officials in two western Illinois counties are investigating an illness affecting people who drank apple cider during a recent fall festival.

The health departments of Pike and Adams county said Thursday more than 60 people who attended the Pike County Color Drive have similar gastrointestinal symptoms. Several have been hospitalized.

Officials say the suspect apple cider could be tainted with E. coli bacteria or a microscopic parasite called cryptosporidium. The Illinois Department of Public Health is assisting with the investigation.

The fall festival was held Oct. 17 and 18 at several locations in Pike County. People who purchased apple cider from vendors at the festival are encouraged to contact a local health department so the product can be tested.

Anyone who is sick should contact a health provider.