Published: Mon, December 10, 2018
Medical | By

Coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce: Nine more cases reported

Coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce: Nine more cases reported

The CDC says testing from those patients shows they were infected with E.coli bacteria that had the same DNA fingerprint as a strain taken from people sickened in a 2017 update that impacted leafy greens in the United States and Romaine in Canada.

Nineteen people have been hospitalised, including two people who developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure, the agency said. No deaths have been reported.

Romaine lettuce labeled with a harvest region outside of the Central Coastal growing regions of northern and central California is not linked to the outbreak.

Although the CDC believes it's identified the region in which the outbreak originated, the agency said it hasn't identified a "common grower, supplier, distributor, or brand of romaine lettuce" linked to the outbreak.

The CDC, public health and regulatory officials in several states, Canada, and the FDA are investigating a multistate outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O157:H7 (E. coli O157:H7) infections.

Markets including Japan and Hong Kong have halted the entry of US -grown lettuce as a precaution. The FDA reached an agreement with industry partners to put an additional label on Romaine lettuce. It's not a minor ailment, he said.

Some 52 cases have been reported of E. coli from Romaine lettuce in 15 states.

Symptoms of an E. coli infection, which usually begin about three or four days after consuming the bacteria, can include watery or bloody diarrhea, fever, abdominal cramps, nausea and vomiting, according to the CDC.

And while healthy people who battle a bout of E. coli typically recover within five to seven days, the illness can be more protracted - and even deadly - for people already made vulnerable by chronic disease or advanced age.

Indeed, the CDC has reported one such case already in the latest outbreak.

And if you do think you might be sick with E. coli, or any other foodborne illness, make sure you don't spread it to those near you. "This also goes for bath towels".

Not only will this be helpful for reassuring customers after the most recent scare, Wilbur said, but also if there are future issues with disease.

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