Diarrhea outbreak investigated in Phoenix area

Diarrhea outbreak investigated in Phoenix area

By Laura Kittell. CREATED Aug 2, 2013 - UPDATED: Aug 2, 2013

PHOENIX (AP) Maricopa County health officials say an outbreak of bloody diarrhea appears to be linked to a Mexican restaurant in Litchfield Park, west of Phoenix.

The Department of Public Health and Department of Environmental Services say 11 people have reported the illness so far and seven of those people have been hospitalized.

Authorities say the illness appears to be caused by E. coli bacteria that produces a toxin that can cause severe illness, especially in children.

So far the outbreak has been seen in a cluster of people who know each other.

Health officials say at least 11 people with bloody diarrhea either ate or bought food at the Federico's Mexican Restaurant around July 23.

The restaurant is voluntarily closing while health officials continue investigating the outbreak.