CDC seeking source of E. coli outbreak affecting several states

Maricruz Casares
Abril 16, 2018

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified romaine lettuce grown around Yuma, Ariz., as the cause of an E. coli outbreak that has so far sent 22 people to the hospital and made 13 more sick. The CDC says 22 have been hospitalized, no deaths have been reported.

Cases have been identified in 11 states so far, including in high-population New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and CT.

The CDC said that no specific brand, distributor or supplier has been identified. Most people recover in five to seven days. Those most at risk for E. coli illness include the very young, the very old and individuals with compromised immune systems.

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Before purchasing romaine lettuce at a grocery store or eating it at a restaurant, consumers should confirm with the store or restaurant that it is not chopped romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Arizona growing region. Three of those patients developed a type of kidney failure associated with an E. coli illness called hemolytic uremic syndrome, which can be life-threatening. In the warning, CDC officials said people who have purchased chopped romaine lettuce from stores "should not eat it and should throw it away, even if some of it was eaten and no one has gotten sick".

Symptoms of E. coli typically begin two to eight days after consuming the bacteria, although most patients become ill three or four days after consumption. "If you do not know if the lettuce is romaine, do not eat it and throw it away". Officials also warned about salads and salad mixes containing chopped romaine lettuce. The symptoms include loss of appetite, fatigue, severe abdominal cramping, diarrhea and fever. "The restaurants reported using bagged, chopped romaine lettuce to make salads", according to the investigation report, which added there are no reports involving whole heads or hearts of romaine. If you can not confirm the source of the romaine lettuce, do not buy it or eat it.

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