E. coli outbreak expands; still no source identified

Lynette PayneApr 28, 2018

The CDC confirmed to Newsweek that this outbreak is the worst multi-state E. coli outbreak in the USA since 2006, when almost 200 people got sick from contaminated spinach.

Federal health officials said Friday evening that the outbreak has sickened 98 people from 22 states.

Up until now, health problems consist of 18 cases in Pennsylvania, 16 cases in California, 10 in Idaho, 8 cases each in Alaska and Montana, 7 in New Jersey, 5 cases each in Arizona and Washington, 3 cases each in MI and OH, 2 cases each in Colorado, Connecticut and NY, and a single case each in Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia and Wisconsin.

Hereditary screening reveals that the E.coli pressure associated with the break out produces a particular kind of "Shiga contaminant" that triggers more extreme disease, Wise described. Although most recover in one week, it could lead to kidney failure. They range in age from 18 to 87 years old, and three of them are children, according to the CDC. Those symptoms include severe stomach cramps, diarrhea and vomiting. A total of five cases E. coli illness in Washington have been linked to the national outbreak.

The Wednesday update adds Colorado, Georgia and South Dakota to the list of affected states.

Investigators have not yet identified a grower, supplier, distributor or brand responsible for the outbreak, the CDC said, although it has been traced to the Yuma, Arizona, region. "Restaurants and retailers should not serve or sell any romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Arizona, growing region".

"If you can not confirm the source of the romaine lettuce, do not buy it or eat it".

" This is a greater hospitalization rate than normal for E. coli O157: H7 infections, which is generally around 30 percent", the company stated.

Romaine lettuce grown outside of the Yuma area returned to Baker's early this week, a spokeswoman said. "The cattle wandered into the stream at liberty, and the strain was found on the pasture land as well", Harris said.

The CDC, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and states are investigating the outbreak, which began March 13.

There is no evidence that lettuce grown outside the Yuma region is part of this outbreak, according to Harris.

The number of people sickened is expected to increase as more people test positive for E. Coli.

"The remainder of illnesses in this outbreak are not linked to romaine lettuce from Harrison Farms".

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