color-driveDoug Wilson of the Herald-Wig reports, Health officials from Pike and Adams counties said the number of people with a suspected food-borne illness after participating in the Pike County Color Drive had risen to 70 by Friday.

The number of suspected cases had been reported as 35 on Thursday.

Investigators believe the people were sickened after drinking apple cider at a number of locations along the annual tourism event. They have reported diarrhea, abdominal cramping and vomiting. Several people have been hospitalized.

Laboratory results are pending from both the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Health care providers are testing for E. coli and cryptosporidium.

The Adams County Health Department is urging people who purchased apple cider on the Color Drive not to consume it. The county is also urging people to fill out a survey.

Those who have been sickened range in age from less than a year to 89. Symptoms usually last about a week or two for people with healthy immune systems. Pregnant women, children under age 2, the elderly and people with weak immune systems are most at risk.