CDC warns of E.coli outbreak in some romaine lettuce

Photo from Center for Disease Control and Prevention

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a warning of a multi-state outbreak of E.coli in romaine lettuce sold out of the Yuma, Arizona region.

The CDC issued their warning on Friday after 53 cases of E.coli were reported from several states including; California, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Arizona, Louisiana, Missouri, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Virginia.

As of Apr 18, only one case of E.coli linked to the lettuce was reported in California, according to information released from the CDC.

Many business owners in Santa Clarita were informed about the outbreak and told to dispose of their romaine, or informed by their suppliers that their lettuce does not come from the affect region. Those contacted informed The Signal they were taking the necessary precautions to prevent an outbreak.

The CDC also made several recommendations regarding romaine lettuce in order to avoid being affected by E.coli;

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

Unless the source of the product is known, consumers anywhere in the United States who have any store-bought romaine lettuce at home should not eat it and should throw it away, even if some of it was eaten and no one has gotten sick. Product labels often do not identify growing regions; so, throw out any romaine lettuce if you’re uncertain about where it was grown. This includes whole heads and hearts of romaine, chopped romaine, and salads and salad mixes containing romaine lettuce. If you do not know if the lettuce is romaine, do not eat it and throw it away.

Restaurants and retailers should not serve or sell any romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Arizona growing region.

The expanded warning is based on information from newly reported illnesses in Alaska. Ill people in Alaska reported eating lettuce from whole heads of romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Arizona growing region.

Most people get sick from the germ that produces E.coli about two to eight days after consuming it, according to the CDC. Common symptoms of E.coli are; diarrhea that is bloody, severe stomach cramps and vomiting.

Most people recover from the infection within a week for mild cases. Though other cases can be severe or even life-threatening, causing those infected to develop a kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome, or HUS.
HUS, according to the CDC, can occur in people of any age, but is more common in kids under the age of five and seniors 65 and older or people with weakened immune systems.

Feeling very tired, losing pink color in cheeks and inside the lower eyelid as well as lower frequency of urination are signs that someone is developing HUS. The CDC states those afflicted by HUS should be hospitalized as their kidneys may stop working.

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