Published: Fri, May 11, 2018
Medicine | By Melba Vasquez

What's in your lettuce? E. Coli outbreak hits Idaho

What's in your lettuce? E. Coli outbreak hits Idaho

Four more states have been added to the list of states affected by the romaine lettuce E. coli outbreak, including Texas.

The Public Health Agency of Canada states two of those six Canadians reported traveling into the US before falling sick because of E. coli O157, three became contaminated in Canada along with the rest of the situation is under investigation. We don't know exactly where in Texas that person lives.

And while the tainted romaine lettuce is thought to have originated from the Yuma region, "product labels often do not identify growing regions; so throw out any romaine lettuce if you're uncertain about where it was grown", the agency said in its warning.

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"I had to take all the romaine lettuce off - it was probably more than a pallet's worth of salads -... and dispose of it", Barnes said.

It's the largest multi-state E. coli outbreak in the U.S.in a dozen years. The most recent illness began on 25 April. The bacteria recently killed one person in California, marking the first fatality tied to the outbreak. At this rate, the E. coli outbreak is expected to worsen overtime. About 17 of the 64 hospitalized people have developed this illness. according to the CDC.

As of April, eight people from Idaho had gotten sick from E. coli. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea and stomach cramps. With supportive treatment, most people recover in a matter of five to seven days.

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"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. The rest of the cases involve chopped lettuce that did not come from the Yuma farm, according to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration.

People who believe they've contracted a foodborne illness should contact the CDC at 1-800-232-4636. Officials are unsure whether the lettuce is being contaminated in the fields, by handlers who harvest the crop, or somewhere in the packaging and shipping process.

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