ST. LOUIS (AP) — Missouri health officials say they’re testing specimens and trying to determine the cause of an E. coli outbreak that recently sickened nearly two dozen people in the St. Louis area.

The state Department of Health and Senior Services said in an emailed statement Sunday that of the 34 specimens being tested 24 have tested positive for a byproduct of E. coli. Spokeswoman Jacqueline Lapine said complete test results will take several days.

Testing also continues to determine the cause of the reported illnesses. On Friday Schnuck Markets Inc. removed some items as a precautionary measure.

E. coli are a group of bacteria that can cause diarrhea, urinary tract infections, respiratory illness and pneumonia. The illness can be spread through consumption of contaminated food.

At least six people required hospital stays in the recent outbreak.

Related Articles:
E. Coli Outbreak in Saint Louis County

E. Coli Virus Packs a Wallop — but so far, No Deaths
Chain Removes Some Items Amid E. coli Concerns

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press

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