The Pike County Health Department and the Adams County Health Department along with the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is investigating a cluster of gastrointestinal (GI) illness associated with the Pike County Color Drive, a large fall festival that spans several communities in Pike County, IL. There have been 30 suspect cases of GI illness identified in attendees of the festival who consumed apple cider purchased from vendors at two locations. The etiologic agent has not yet been confirmed; health care providers should be encouraged to test for E. coli and Cryptosporidium until further information is available.

Ill individuals have reported symptoms including profuse diarrhea, bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and vomiting. Onset dates range from October 20 – 28. Persons have been hospitalized as a result of this illness, and additional illnesses continue to be reported. Further laboratory testing is pending. Symptoms usually last about 1 to 2 weeks (with a range of a few days to 4 or more weeks) in persons with healthy immune systems. Occasionally, people may experience a recurrence of symptoms after a brief period of recovery before the illness ends. Symptoms can come and go for up to 30 days. People who are especially vulnerable to this illness include: pregnant women, children under 2 years, elderly and immunocompromised individuals. If you attended the festival or consumed apple cider purchased from vendors at the festival and feel that you have these symptoms, contact your health care provider.

Investigators are seeking additional cases of GI illness that attended the Pike County Color Drive during October 17-18 and consumed apple cider purchased during the event. If you have apple cider that was purchased during the event that is fresh or frozen for future use, do not consume it. Contact your local health department so that the cider can be tested.