Six people in the Rochester area might have gotten sick as part of the Taco Bell E. coli outbreak that happened about a month ago.
The New York state Health Department is reporting all confirmed and potential cases on its Web site, and says that four people from Monroe, one person from Genesee and one person from Ontario counties are potential cases related to the outbreak.
Most reported cases associated with the outbreak in New York state have not been confirmed — 294 potential cases, compared with 22 confirmed cases that have been reported to the federal government.
The federal government has been unable to definitively know what actually contained the E. coli bacteria reported at restaurants in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. They surmise it could have come from lettuce, cheddar cheese or ground beef. The outbreak occurred between November 20 and December 6 and is considered over.
Ten Taco Bells in Nassau and Suffolk counties have temporarily closed for testing and cleaning in early December.
Ingesting E. coli bacteria, which is found in the intestines of humans and animals, can cause diarrhea. But the one particular E. coli strain called 0157:H7 involved in this outbreak can cause severe diarrhea and kidney damage.