7 new cases in E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce

12 January, 2018, 06:19 | Author: Samuel Hayes
  • Outbreak of E. Coli Linked To Romaine Lettuce ‘Appears To Be Over

Consumer Reports recently put the public on notice after it learned 59 people in the United States and Canada were infected with E.coli, which they possibly contracted after eating romaine lettuce.

An announcement was made on Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which revealed seven more reports of E. coli infections that have spread to two more states, Maryland and New Jersey, in the ongoing outbreak.

Nine people were hospitalized, including one in California that died.

All of the people in the outbreak began feeling ill between November 15 and December 12, about the same time that an E. coli outbreak began in Canada.

"The likely source of the outbreak in the United States appears to be leafy greens, but officials have not specifically identified a type of leafy greens eaten by people who became ill", the CDC said Wednesday.

Based on that information, officials say that ill persons in this outbreak are not more likely than healthy people to have eaten romaine lettuce. Illness onsets among reported cases occurred in late Nov & early Dec, so the source of these cases likely is no longer on the market.

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"There is not enough epidemiologic evidence at this time to indicate a specific source of the illnesses in the United States", Brittany Behm, a CDC representative, said. This investigation is ongoing. Because of this, the CDC is not recommending that USA residents avoid any type of particular food.

The outbreak is responsible for 66 infections and two deaths in the two countries.

Canadian health officials say romaine lettuce is to blame but the CDC still isn't sure. Holidays can increase this delay.

The symptoms of an E. coli O157:H7 infection include diarrhea that is bloody or watery, and severe stomach and abdominal cramps. "For instance, if the equipment at a processing plant is contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, new product could become a source of further infections". Illnesses usually begin three to four days after eating food contaminated with this bacteria.

You can protect yourself by washing your hands thoroughly before and after preparing or eating food.

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) issued its first announcement about an E coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce on December 11. You can also wash counters, cutting boards, and utensils after they touch raw meat to avoid contaminating other foods. The five hospitalized are in the United States with the one death in the USA and one in Canada. It urged the public to avoid eating romaine lettuce until more is known about the contamination.

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