Counts increasing in romaine lettuce e. coli outbreaks
More states and more illnesses have been added to the count of those affected by the romaine lettuce e. coli outbreak that began in early March 2018. One death has been reported in California, directly related to consuming romaine lettuce that was contaminated with e. coli.
According to the CDC and FDA llnesses have now been reported by 149 people in 29 states: Alaska (8), Arizona (8), California (30), Colorado (2), Connecticut (2), Florida (1), Georgia (5), Idaho (11), Illinois (2), Kentucky (1), Louisiana (1), Massachusetts (3), Michigan (4), Minnesota (10), Mississippi (1), Missouri (1), Montana (8), New Jersey (8), New York (4), North Dakota (2), Ohio (3), Pennsylvania (20), South Dakota (1), Tennessee (1), Texas (1), Utah (1), Virginia (1), Washington (7), and Wisconsin (2).
There have been 64 hospitalizations reported as a result of food poisoning related to the romaine lettuce. Additional illnesses will undoubtedly be reported in the coming weeks and many illnesses resulting from the e. coli contamination may never be reported. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state that typically illnesses are not included in the count for several weeks after a person becomes sick and seeks medical assistance.
The symptoms of Shiga toxin-producing (STEC) E. coli infections vary for each person but often include severe stomach cramps and bloody diarrhea. Most people get better within 5–7 days. Some infections are very mild, but others are severe or even life-threatening. Around 5–10 percent of those who are diagnosed with STEC infection develop a potentially life-threatening complication, known as hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS).