CDC: E. coli outbreak from romaine lettuce continues to spread

Glen Mclaughlin
May 11, 2018

It has now sickened 28 more people and affected four more states, confirms the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

They have identified one farm in Yuma, Arizona, as having grown whole-head lettuce linked to cases of food poisoning in an Alaska prison, but they do not know where that lettuce became contaminated.

The CDC says the romaine lettuce contamination happened on Yuma, Arizona-area farms although so far the investigation has not pinpointed where the E. coli originated.

"Based on the ongoing USA outbreak investigation, and the information provided by individuals who became sick, the likely source of the outbreak in Canada is romaine lettuce", said PHAC, in a statement. It is the largest multi-state E. coli outbreak in 12 years. The most recent illness began on 25 April.

Besides the death recorded in California, 17 patients have developed a risky form of kidney failure, the agency said. One death from California has been reported.

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People usually get sick from this strand of E. coli 2-8 days after ingesting the germ. No recalls have been issued in direct connection to the Escherichia coli O157:H7 outbreak. The vegetable's 21-day shelf life means that romaine lettuce from this region may still be in the supply chain. Most people recover in five to seven days with supportive treatment.

"Antibiotics are not recommended for patients with suspected E. coli O157 infections until diagnostic testing can be performed and E. coli O157 infection is ruled out", the CDC said.

"State and local health officials continue to interview ill people to ask about the foods they ate and other exposures they had before they became ill", the CDC writes in its latest report.

Jaron Barnes, produce department manager at the Walmart in Rexburg, said that E. coli is something they take very seriously and they have done everything they can to prevent customers from consuming any contaminated lettuce.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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