Five cases of E. coli have been confirmed in Bell County, Texas.  The Bell County health district said no additional cases have been reported and said that it “continues to carefully monitor for further cases.”

Most varieties of E. coli are harmless or may cause brief diarrhea, the health district said, and sometimes produce no symptoms at all, although the infection can be spread to others.  But a few strains can cause severe bloody diarrhea and abdominal cramps followed by serious organ system damage such as kidney failure.

Anyone with bloody diarrhea should seek medical care immediately.