Misti Crane of the Columbus Dispatch reported this morning that six cases of E. coli O157:H7 infections in the past week have health officials concerned and looking closely to see whether the illnesses are linked.

Three cases in Fairfield County and three in Franklin County, including two in Columbus, were reported after the death on May 27 of a 52-year-old Gahanna woman who was infected with the bacteria. In Columbus, a 19-year-old man and a 74-year-old woman were sickened. The third Franklin County case involved a 23-year-old man. The Fairfield County cases involved an 11-year-old girl, a 12-year-old boy and a 47-year-old woman, health officials said. The 52-year-old woman who died had the same strain as several Washington state residents whose illnesses were linked to lettuce grown in California.