The University of North Carolina and North Carolina Department of Health announced that they are investigating an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak among UNC students. Although no common source of exposure to the bacteria has been identified, health officials are working to determine the cause of the outbreak and do not believe that more students are at risk of developing the E. coli infection.

Three University students have, to date, developed confirmed cases of gastroenteritis caused by E. coli O157:H7 bacteria. This illness causes severe diarrhea, abdominal cramps and is occasionally associated with severe complications, especially in young children and the elderly.

The affected students developed symptoms between October 26th and 29th. Health authorities are investigating a small number of additional possible cases among University students.