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Illinois county announces second outbreak in one week; causes under investigation


Officials in an Illinois county are reporting an outbreak of gastrointestinal illness linked to a D.C. Cobb’s restaurant.

The McHenry County Department of Health issued a statement saying that the restaurant at 1204 N. Green Street in McHenry is implicated in the outbreak, which has sickened at least 13 people.

All of the patients ate at the restaurant and have similar symptoms, but a specific pathogen has not yet been identified, according to the county’s statement. 

The county health department officials say the restaurant owners are fully cooperating with the investigation, which is ongoing. 

People who ate at the restaurant between Aug. 29 and Sept. 13 are being asked to complete a survey to assist the county health investigators in collecting data to help determine the cause of the illnesses.

“It is important that those who ate during this time complete the survey whether they have developed symptoms or remain well. The survey is a confidential, secure webform that is Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliant and can be found at https://redcap.link/DC_Cobbs,” according to the health department outbreak announcement.

Anyone who ate at the restaurant and developed severe gastrointestinal symptoms should consult with their healthcare provider. 

People with questions or who are unable to access the survey can call 815-334-4500 and ask for a communicable disease nurse. 

This past week McHenry County health officials announced a possible Campylobacter outbreak. Patients got sick between Aug. 17 and Aug. 30, 2022. It is unclear whether the two outbreaks are related.

Health officials have identified eight cases of campylobacteriosis with illness onsets between those dates. That is four times more cases compared to the previous two weeks and 3.33 times more cases in August compared to July. 

“No common source of infection has been identified at this time,” according to the health department.

Most people who become ill from Campylobacter infection get diarrhea, which may be bloody, and may experience cramping, abdominal pain and fever within two to five days after exposure to the bacteria. Nausea and vomiting may also occur. The illness typically lasts about one week. Those who believe they have symptoms should contact their healthcare provider as soon as possible.

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