Fall Festival's Apple Cider Leaves 70 Sick

Health officials investigating for parasites

Health officials say the number of people with a suspected food-borne illness after participating in the Pike County Color Drive doubled from 35 reported Thursday to 70 affected by Friday, according to the Quincy Herald-Whig

Investigators say people fell sick after drinking apple cider possibly made with contaminated water at various locations throughout the annual fall festival held on October 17 in Barry, Illinois. Several people were hospitalized, with symptoms including diarrhea, abdominal cramping and vomiting. Patients range in age from less than a year to 89-years-old.

Officials are testing the cider for E. coli and cryptosporidium, microscopic parasites found in water, food, soil and surfaces that are contaminated with human or animal feces that have been affected. 

Symptoms typically last one to two weeks, but can persist for up to a month. Officials in Adams and Pike County are urging residents who purchased apple cider at the event not to consume it, but to contact their local health department to have it tested. 

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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