Kern County officials confirm three cases of E. coliMay 11, 2007 | AP
Three children have tested positive for the same strain of E. coli responsible for last year's outbreak from spinach, authorities said.
Final confirmation of nine other cases involving children is pending, according to Kern County health officials.
"Anytime you have kids involved, it's very serious," said Dr. B.A. Jinadu, a county public health officer.
A parent who reported having bloody diarrhea for several days was also examined Thursday, and four children have been hospitalized in recent days with similar symptoms.
Investigators believe the children and father may have all gotten sick at a recent birthday party.
The threat is contained and the public should not worry, Jinadu said.
The strain of E. coli found in Bakersfield is common and can cause diarrhea, stomach cramps, abdominal pain, fever and death in some people.