Coli cases tied to romaine lettuce

The US government is investigating whether romaine lettuce from Yuma in Arizona could have been contaminated with the bacteria, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

So far, illnesses include 18 cases in Pennsylvania, 16 cases in California, 10 in Idaho, eight cases each in Alaska and Montana, seven in New Jersey, five cases each in Arizona and Washington, three cases each in MI and OH, two cases each in Colorado, Connecticut and NY, and a single case each in Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia and Wisconsin.

So far, a total of 98 people in 22 states have gotten sick after eating romaine lettuce.

No deaths have been reported.

Do not eat or buy romaine lettuce unless you can confirm it is not from the Yuma, Arizona, growing region.

"As soon as we were notified of the updated CDC Advisory, we immediately began working with our suppliers to identify romaine products from Yuma Arizona, and instructed our stores to pull them".

Doctors say this strain of E. coli is especially unsafe because it produces a toxin that could lead to kidney complications.

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Although not one of those impacted by the break out has actually passed away, 10 clients established a harmful kind of kidney failure, the firm stated. They include severe and painful cramps and diarrhea that is bloody or watery. Fifty-three percent of patients have been hospitalized, which is a very high percentage for any E. coli O157:H7 outbreak.

We reached out to the Georgia Department of Health and they say it's really hard to find the source of an outbreak.

The E. coli spreading through the states is "toxin-producing", the CDC states - specifically a toxin known as Shiga. Romaine lettuce is the only common ingredient identified among the salads eaten by those who got sick.

Infections have actually been connected to the E. coli O157: H7 stress and health problems have actually frequently been serious. By April 10, the CDC had issued its first announcement about the E. coli illness outbreak. But the other 90 illnesses in this outbreak are not linked to romaine lettuce from Harrison Farms.

Speaking at the news briefing, he stressed that other area farms could also be affected.

Identification of the farm adds a new piece to the outbreak investigation puzzle, but since most of the illnesses involved chopped romaine and are parts of different subclusters, officials have a complex tracing task on their hands, with more farms to consider and contamination possible anywhere along the supply chain.

  • Adam Floyd