11 sick; E. coli O157:H7 outbreak linked to South Carolina restaurant

South Carolina health inspectors are investigating an outbreak of Escherichia coli O157:H7 linked to a Mexican restaurant in Spartanburg.

Adam Myrick, spokesman with the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control, told the Spartanburg Herald Journal that of the 11 suspected or confirmed cases associated with the same restaurant, two people were infected to a potentially serious level, said.

DHEC is continuing its “multi-faceted investigation” that includes reviewing restaurant menus, food samples and taking stool samples from those who have related symptoms who have eaten at the restaurant.

Myrick wouldn’t confirm the restaurant associated with the outbreak. Myrick said the cases were reported during the last week of April and the first week of May.

DHEC has since inspected the restaurant and does not have a “reason to believe the public is in danger at this time,” Myrick said.

“It’s early in the investigation and we’re piecing together information and talking to people,” Myrick said. “We’ve looked at the facility and found no substantial problems, but again, it’s early.”

The agency issued an alert to local healthcare providers Friday afternoon advising them of the symptoms associated with shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC), which include severe stomach cramps, diarrhea (sometimes bloody), vomiting and a mild fever.