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article imageCDC warns — Do not eat romaine lettuce as E. coli illness spreads

By Karen Graham     Apr 20, 2018 in Health
Consumers, restaurants, and retailers nationwide are being urged by the CDC to throw away any chopped romaine lettuce, including salads and salad mixes containing chopped romaine lettuce originating in Yuma, Arizona.
On April 13, 2018, Digital Journal reported thirty-five people in 11 states have been sickened and 22 of those patients were so severely ill, they had to be hospitalized because of the E. coli outbreak associated with chopped romaine lettuce.
In a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued on Thursday, the number of illnesses has risen to 53 and the outbreak has spread to 16 states. The highest number of cases has been in Pennsylvania, Idaho, New Jersey, and Montana.
Thirty-one of those ill have been hospitalized. Five of them developed a type of kidney failure associated with an E. coli illness called hemolytic uremic syndrome, which can be life-threatening.
The CDC points out that illnesses that occurred after March 29, 2018, might not yet be reported due to the time it takes between when a person becomes ill with E. coli and when the illness is reported. This takes an average of two to three weeks.
No official recall has been issued
As was reported last week, the CDC has been unable to identify a specific grower, supplier, distributor or brand responsible for the contaminated lettuce - so no official product recall has been issued. But the spread of the bacteria has been associated with chopped romaine lettuce coming from the Yuma, Arizona area.
For this reason, the CDC has issued the warning to consumers nationwide. "If you cannot confirm the source of the romaine lettuce, do not buy it or eat it," the CDC said in a statement, according to National Public Radio.
Pennsylvania has reported 12 cases so far, while Idaho comes in second with 10. New Jersey, where the first case was reported last month has had seven cases so far. In Montana, six people have fallen sick, while Alaska, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Virginia, and Washington state have reported three or fewer.
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