More E.Coli Victims Reported

More people have reported symptoms associated with E.coli in Illinois and New York, where major outbreaks occurred recently.

In Illinois, the number of people suspected of being infected with the virus has risen to 313. Twenty-two people have been hospitalized. One remained in critical condition Wednesday.

Of those with symptoms, 44 have been tested and confirmed as having E. coli, the state Public Health Department said.

More than 250 people who attended a party held Labor Day weekend in a cow pasture near Petersburg, Ill., became infected with the E. coli bacteria. About 1,800 people attended the event.

The source of the E. coli contamination is still unknown. The health department has conducted more than 600 interviews so far.

In New York, the number of E.coli victims has reached 921. Two people have died from the virus, which officials believe the victims contracted from bad well water at the Washington County Fair in Albany last month.

After initial concern, no cases have been reported among those who attended the nearby Schaghticoke Fair. Officials were worried because a worker at both fairs has contracted the disease.

The latest victims of the outbreak were a toddler and an elderly man. Sixty-five people have been hospitalized in New York state.

E. coli is a bacteria usually found in the intestines or manure of cattle. Many people who ingest it experience intense cramps and bloody diarrhea. In severe cases, it can destroy red blood cells and interfere with kidney function.

Officials are still urging anyone with symptoms including diarrhea, abdominal cramps and occasional bloody diarrhea to contact a doctor.