Four confirmed cases of E. coli infections have been reported among customers of Los Burritos Mexicanos in Lombard, and DuPage County health officials said Monday they are continuing an investigation into the exact cause of the illnesses.
About six additional reports of gastrointestinal illnesses are among those investigators are probing as possibly associated with consuming food from the Mexican restaurant at 1015 E. St. Charles Road, said Jason Gerwig, external affairs manager for the DuPage County Health Department.
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Los Burritos Mexicanos has been closed since Friday when the investigation began after two of the E. coli patients were hospitalized. Health officials say restaurant ownership and staff members have been cooperating as they try to determine which product or ingredient may have been contaminated with bacteria.
E. coli can be transmitted through contaminated food or water. The bacteria is found in the fecal matter of infected people, and health officials say it can be passed on if proper hand-washing and hygiene habits are not used.
Samples of the bacteria from all four E. coli patients were tested in Illinois Department of Public Health laboratories and all were determined to be the same strain, spokeswoman Sabrina Miller said.
All four E. coli patients -- including the two who were hospitalized -- now are recovering at home, DuPage health officials said Monday. Most healthy adults recover completely from E. coli infections within a week, but some people can develop severe symptoms including a form of kidney failure.
Anyone who has developed a diarrheal illness within two to 10 days of eating at Los Burritos Mexicanos between May 24 and June 14 is advised to call a doctor and report the illness to the DuPage County Health Department at (630) 221-7040 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday or at (630) 682-7400 after hours.