Medicine

Multi-state E. coli outbreak linked to chopped romaine lettuce

Multi-state E. coli outbreak linked to chopped romaine lettuce

The CDC confirms that there have been at least 35 cases of E. coli infections in 11 states tied to the pre-chopped romaine lettuce thus far.

Thirty-five people in 11 states have been sickened and 22 of those patients were so severely ill, they had to be hospitalized, the CDC said.

About 90 percent of all the Romaine lettuce grown in the United States between November and March is grown in and around the Yuma area, according to the city's website. "However, preliminary information indicates that the chopped romaine lettuce was from the Yuma, Arizona growing region".

And the CDC adds that restaurants should avoid buying and serving romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Arizona region. Ages of the sick range from 12 to 84. If the store or restaurant can't definitely tell you that it didn't, do not buy it or eat it.

There has not been a recall of any product as a result of the outbreak, which has led to 22 hospitalizations among the 35 reported cases. The hardest-hit state is New Jersey, with 6 cases that led to an investigation of Panera Bread.

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The department says that the infected lettuce had been consumed both in homes and at restaurants.

"Talk to your doctor if you have symptoms of an E. coli infection and report your illness to your local health department", the agency said. They all got ill after eating romaine lettuce. Most E. coli bacteria are not harmful, but one type known as E. coli O157:H7 produces a toxin called Shiga, which destroys red blood cells, causes kidney failure and bloody diarrhea.

Identifying a common source for E. coli infections is particularly challenging because individuals could potentially eat several meals spanning several places before experiencing symptoms and falling ill. Anyone taken ill should contact a doctor if diarrhea "lasts more than 3 days or is accompanied by high fever, blood in the stool, or so much vomiting that you can not keep liquids down and you pass very little urine", according to the CDC.

The CDC has said these complications are is more common older adults, young children and those with weakened immune systems.


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