Thursday, 16 August, 2018

Deadly E. coli outbreak tied to romaine spreads

Deadly E. coli outbreak tied to romaine spreads Deadly E. coli outbreak tied to romaine spreads
Anna Jefferson | 10 May, 2018, 17:51

The state is now reporting at least one person getting sick from the outbreak linked to romaine lettuce. One death from California has been reported.

Federal health officials say six Canadians have been stricken by a strain of E. coli that has a similar genetic fingerprint to romaine lettuce from the USA southwest that has already sickened 149 people in 29 states. But there is a time lag in reporting and confirming these cases.

The CDC stressed that E. coli illness can be very serious, even deadly.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says romaine lettuce from the Yuma growing region in Arizona and California is no longer being produced and distributed, so the potential for exposure to contaminated lettuce is reduced. Seventeen have developed severe kidney failure, and one person in California has died.

The problem stems from bacteria-tainted romaine lettuce grown near Yuma, Arizona.

This strain of E.Coli has already affected 149 people in 29 states in the U.S. The most recent illness started April 25. "This percentage is significantly higher than results from a survey of healthy people, in which 46% reported eating romaine lettuce in the week before they were interviewed". People who have gotten sick in the last two or three weeks may not yet be reported.

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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 says.

Symptoms of E. coli typically begin three to four days after the bacteria is ingested. "Most people get diarrhea [often bloody], severe stomach cramps and vomiting", according to the CDC. Most people recover in five to seven days.

"We have many lines of evidence suggesting to us right now that all of these illnesses are connected in some way through romaine grown in the Yuma region [of Arizona]", Matthew Wise, the CDC deputy branch chief for outbreak response, said recently.

The bureau says if it's determined that polluted romaine lettuce is at the Canadian marketplace, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency will remember the merchandise as needed.

However, the agency confirmed that no other types of lettuce or any other growing region for romaine are involved in the outbreak.

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