Marin County public health officials said there have been five confirmed and one presumed case of the food-borne E coli bacteria infection in the county since Sunday.
Three cases involving children in Tiburon and one presumed case in Inverness were reported Thursday.
Four of the six cases involve children, Marin County Public Health Officer Dr. Mark Willis said.
The patients live in Tiburon, San Anselmo, Inverness and San Rafael. Of the four patients that were hospitalized, two have been discharged, Willis said.
Two patients were not hospitalized, and all six patients are stable and recovering or have fully recovered, Willis said.
No single food source has been identified as the cause of the infections, Willis said.
"Environmental Health inspections of establishments where food may have been purchased or consumed by the cases has not revealed any contaminated products or evidence for ongoing risk to the public," Willis said in a statement Friday afternoon.
A regional health laboratory and a state lab are performing DNA fingerprinting of the bacteria which will help determine if the people were infected with the same strain, Willis said.
The fingerprinting is a new technique that helps identify potential links among the cases, he said.
Children, older adults and people with weakened immune systems are most at risk of infection by eating foods that contain the Escherichia coli 0157 bacteria, Willis said.
Marin County averages five cases a year, he said.
Symptoms of E coli illness include abdominal cramps and diarrhea that is sometimes bloody. Good food hygiene practices to prevent infection include washing hands with soap and water after changing diapers or using the bathroom, and before preparing food and eating.
Safe food handling includes cooking meats thoroughly and washing hands, counters, cutting boards and utensils after touching raw meat.
Marin County Health and Human Services will provide public health updates at www.marinhhs.org as the investigation continues.
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