Published: Sat, April 28, 2018
Health Care | By Gwendolyn Kim

Romaine lettuce E-coli outbreak spreads to MS

Romaine lettuce E-coli outbreak spreads to MS

Almost 100 people in 22 states have been confirmed with a strain of E. coli contracted from romaine lettuce that was grown in the Yuma, Arizona farming region, the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a joint briefing on Friday. Three more states reported cases-Mississippi, Tennessee, and Wisconsin-putting the number of affected states at 22. Romaine lettuce is the only common ingredient identified among the salads eaten by those who got sick. This is not a time to be tailoring the message to risk groups.

People generally get sick from E. coli three to four days after ingesting the germ.

There are now 98 cases in 22 states linked to this outbreak.

No deaths have been reported but 46 people have been hospitalized, including 10 suffering from kidney failure, said the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Centers for Disease Control released a new update on the scale of E. coli infections spreading across the country, with almost 20 states now reporting illnesses. However, there are more than two dozen other farms under investigation as possible parts of this latest outbreak. Investigators have not determined where in the supply chain the contamination occurred - whether in the growing, harvesting, packaging or distribution stage - that caused those inmates' illness.

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The CDC emphasized that although the other 90 cases of illness are linked to the eight in Alaska, those 90 are from chopped bagged lettuce, and that contamination source remains a mystery.

Currently, there is no link between this strain and the one in Canada from December 2017, which sickened at least 17 people, officials said. The agencies also stressed that people avoid eating romaine lettuce grown in the Yuma, Arizona area. Panera Bread put a notice on their app, reading, 'A CDC public consumer notice has advised restaurants to stop selling romaine lettuce from Yuma, Arizona.

The outbreak is blamed on E. coli bacteria in romaine lettuce grown in Yuma, Arizona.

"We haven't been able to guarantee that there's no product coming out of Yuma at this point", added Stic Harris of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration during a briefing for reporters. "We'd like to emphasize that most of the illnesses in this outbreak are not linked to this particular farm", Harris said.

Twenty-two states have reported E.coli infections linked ot the outbreak according to the CDC and FDA. "If you have symptoms, including bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and vomiting, we urge you to contact your healthcare provider".

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