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Arizona Health Officials Investigating Outbreak Of Bloody Diarrhea

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File photo of a doctor's office. (credit: Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)

File photo of a doctor’s office. (credit: Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)

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PHOENIX (AP) — Maricopa County health officials are investigating an outbreak of bloody diarrhea in the west side of the Phoenix area.

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

According to the department, the illness appears to be caused by 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.

The department says it’s investigating the outbreak in collaboration with the state Department of Health Services.

The department is urging that anyone who is experiencing bloody diarrhea seek medical care so a stool culture can be ordered.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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