Local News

Fourth Case Of E. coli At UNC; 2 Off-Campus Cases Suspected

Posted November 8, 2006 7:11 a.m. EST

— Orange County health officials are investigating four confirmed cases of E. coli bacterial infections at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and they suspect two cases have cropped up off campus.

In an e-mail message distributed to the university community Monday afternoon, school officials said three students developed symptoms of the illness between Oct. 26 and Oct. 29.

A fourth case was identified Tuesday morning, and officials said there may be two E-coli cases off campus as well. Investigators haven't yet been able to determine a common denominator for the affected students.

E. coli can cause diarrhea and abdominal cramps and is occasionally associated with severe complications, especially in young children and older adults. People with the bacteria usually become sick within 10 days of exposure.