Romaine lettuce linked to E. coli infection outbreak

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(WEHT) – Dozens of people across the country have been hospitalized due to E. coli infections that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says are linked to Romaine lettuce.

According to the CDC, there are 67 people who have been infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 from 19 states, including Illinois.

The CDC says Romaine lettuce from the Salinas, California, growing region could be infected with the bacteria and is making people sick. They say no one should eat, sell or serve Romaine lettuce from the Salinas growing region.

This is an ongoing investigation to determine the source of contamination and if other products are linked to illness.

There haven’t been any reports of E. coli in Indiana or Kentucky, but the majority of reports are from Ohio and Wisconsin.

Here are some tips if you have symptoms of an E. coli infection:

  • Talk to your healthcare provider.
  • Write down what you ate in the week before you started to get sick.
  • Report your illness to your local health department.
  • Assist public health investigators by answering questions about your illness.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly after changing diapers, using the toilet, and before and after preparing food to lower the chance of infecting others.

Symptoms of E. coli Infection:

  • People usually get sick from Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) 2 to 8 days (average of 3 to 4 days) after swallowing the germ.
  • Some people with E. coli infections may get a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS).
  • E. coli infection is usually diagnosed by testing a stool sample.
  • Antibiotics are not recommended for patients with suspected E. coli infections until diagnostic testing can be performed and E. coli infection is ruled out. Some studies have shown that administering antibiotics to patients with E. coli infections might increase their risk of developing HUS, and a benefit of treatment has not been clearly demonstrated.
  • For more information, see Symptoms of E. coli Infection.

More information about this outbreak can be found on the CDC’s website.

Courtesy: CDC

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(This story was originally published on Nov. 26, 2019)

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