DuPage County health officials said Saturday they are looking into at least four confirmed cases of E. coli infections likely stemming from one restaurant they have identified.
Jason Gerwig, external affairs manager for the DuPage County Health Department, said medical experts are conducting a thorough investigation to determine the cause of the infections and whether the patients all ate at the same restaurant.
Until that investigation is complete, which is likely to be Monday, Gerwig said the name and location of the restaurant they believe to be involved in the cases will not be released.
The probe began after Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove admitted four patients with confirmed cases of the potentially deadly E. coli bacteria this week, spokesman Jim Silvestri said Saturday.
E. coli is spread by ingesting infected fecal matter, usually from water fowl like geese, ducks and seagulls, but the bacteria can also come from the waste of humans and other warm-blooded animals.
Gerwig said those infected with E. coli usually experience intestinal symptoms -- some severe -- including diarrhea and stomach cramps. The health departments wants people to be aware of the recent cases, he said.
"It gets our attention when you see a little cluster like this," Gerwig said. "If you have symptoms, go see a doctor."
Officials on Saturday did not identify the patients but said more information should be available Monday.