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Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Release # 117-06
Friday, December 8, 2006

CONTACT: (212) 788-5290; 788-3058 (After Hours)
Andrew Tucker (atucker@health.nyc.gov)
Sara Markt (smarkt@health.nyc.gov)


HEALTH DEPARTMENT UPDATE ON E. COLI O157:H7 INVESTIGATION IN NEW YORK CITY

NEW YORK CITY - December 8, 2006 - The City Health Department today reported 1 probable case and 9 suspected cases of E. coli O157:H7 to the New York State Health Department. The person with probable E. coli infection ate at a Taco Bell restaurant in New York City on November 24. This person was hospitalized briefly, was discharged and is now fully recovered. Of the 9 suspected cases, 4 people ate at a Taco Bell in New York City, and 5 ate at a Taco Bell outside New York City. The most recent onset of symptoms in any New York City resident was December 4. None of these people is currently hospitalized and all are doing well.

As part of this investigation, the City Health Department has inspected 6 New York City Taco Bell restaurants where suspected cases reported eating before getting sick (2 in Manhattan, 3 in Queens, and 1 in Staten Island). No major violations were observed during these inspections and no employees have reported any recent illness.

The Health Department is continuing to work actively with doctors and labs to identify and investigate other potential E. coli infections. As a precaution, the Department is advising anyone who ate at a Taco Bell restaurant and develops symptoms such as severe diarrhea and abdominal cramps, or blood in the stool, to contact their health care provider immediately.

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