CDC Expands Warning of Multistate Outbreak of E. coli Linked to Romaine
Apr 26, 2018, 01:20
Dr. John McKillip, microbiology professor with a background in food safety and food microbiology, said most E. coli is beneficial or neutral and usually lives within the intestines.
Consumers, for the time being, have been advised to throw away any store-bought romaine lettuce and to avoid buying more, or ordering it in a restaurant, unless they can confirm it was not sourced from the Yuma area.
After an E. coli outbreak affecting 19 states as of Wednesday, 18 of those have been reported in Pennsylvania.
According to Katherine Hoyer, public information officer at Panhandle Health District, the only reported case in North Idaho was in Boundary County.
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The case count by state in this E. coli O157:H7 HUS outbreak is: Alaska (5), Arizona (5), California (13), Colorado (2), CT (2), Georgia (1), Idaho (10), IL (1), Louisiana (1), MI (2), Missouri (1), Montana (7), New Jersey (7), NY (2), OH (3), Pennsylvania (18), South Dakota (1), Virginia (1), and Washington (2). Forty-two ill people have been hospitalized, including nine people who developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure.
So far there have been no deaths reported. But investigators still have not identified a common grower, supplier, distributor, or brand of romaine.
"This bacteria can actually get inside the lettuce leaf", he said.
Illnesses include 12 cases in Pennsylvania, 10 cases in Idaho, seven cases in New Jersey, six cases in Montana, three cases in Arizona, two each in Connecticut, Michigan, New York and OH, and one case each in Alaska, California, Illinois, Louisiana, Missouri, Virginia and Washington. Arizona has five. OH has three.
California exploded from one case to 13. While E. coli can survive a good scrubbing, the idea that animal poop makes it onto your lettuce should be enough to prompt you to keep your leafy greens under the faucet for at least a few extra seconds.
"The pain with this particular infection is much worse than your average stomach illness", said Tate.
"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.
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Symptoms of hemolytic uremic syndrome include less urination, feeling very exhausted , and losing color in the cheeks. Of the hospitalizations, five patients developed a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome.
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Coli outbreak across 7 states
Health officials are investigating a Panera Bread in Phillipsburg, New Jersey after a cluster of E. coli illnesses were reported. Consumers who have store-bought chopped romaine lettuce should not eat it and throw it away immediately, the CDC said .