Published: Sun, April 15, 2018
Medicine | By Melba Vasquez

35 people infected by E. coli outbreak from chopped romaine lettuce

35 people infected by E. coli outbreak from chopped romaine lettuce

Health officials have identified romaine lettuce out of Arizona as the culprit in an E. coli outbreak that has sickened 35 people in eleven states, including seven in New Jersey in the last few weeks.

If you don't know whether or not the chopped romaine lettuce you may have purchased came from the suspected region, just throw it out, even if someone has eaten some of the product and has not gotten sick.

Niki Forbing-Orr, public information manager for Idaho health and welfare, said most of the people affected are from the Treasure Valley but others also have been sickened in other parts of the state. Three people have developed a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome, the CDC said in a statement.

Idahoans are getting sick from eating chopped romaine lettuce. Specifically, government officials are advising consumers not to consume chopped, bagged romaine grown in Yuma.

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At this time, ill people are not reporting that they ate whole heads or hearts of romaine.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service are investigating, but so far haven't linked a specific food, grocery store, or restaurant chain as the source.

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.

The department says that the infected lettuce had been consumed both in homes and at restaurants.

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On Friday, the CDC announced that chopped romaine lettuce from Yuma, Arizona could be linked to the outbreak. Symptoms include severe stomach cramps, often bloody diarrhea, and vomiting. Nationwide, 22 people have been hospitalized.

If diarrhea lasts more than 3 days or is accompanied by high fever, blood in the stool or so much vomiting that the patient can not keep down liquids, a doctor must be called, the agency said. Sometimes the food source associated with illness is never determined'.

Nationwide, at least 6 of the victims were hospitalized with severe E. coli infections between March 22 and March 31, 2018.

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