STEC O157 outbreak sickens 66 and kills two in United States and Canada

12 January, 2018, 06:15 | Author: Nina Hammond
  • Romaine lettuce

Produce trade organizations issued a statement that, as of last week, no public health agency had contacted romaine lettuce growers or processors and asked to stop shipping product. Consumer Reports, however, is still saying to avoid romaine lettuce.

The states where E. coli has been reported are: California (4), CT (2), IL (1), IN (2), Maryland (3), MI (1), Nebraska (1), New Hampshire (2), New Jersey (1), NY (1), OH (1), Pennsylvania (2), Vermont (1), Virginia (1), and Washington (1). Consumer Reports still warned against eating romaine. Attorney Fred Pritzker and his team recently won $7.5 million for young client whose kidneys failed after he developed hemolytic uremic syndrome because of an E. coli infection. CDC health officials are investigating the outbreaks but have stopped short of recommending people avoid romaine lettuce or any other food. Because of this, the CDC is not recommending that USA residents avoid any type of particular food.

"State and local public health officials continue to interview sick people in the United States to determine what they ate in the week before their illness started".

In a news release on Wednesday, Jan. 10, the agency says it is no longer advising people in the five affected provinces - Newfoundland and Labrador, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia - to consider eating other types of lettuce, instead of romaine.

CDC and FDA will continue to update the public as more information on the outbreak source is uncovered.

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In the US, the FDA, which had not posted any public information about the outbreak until today, is assisting the CDC, but has virtually nothing to report. There has been one death, which was previously reported.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency - which is similar to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration - tested samples of romaine lettuce as part of the outbreak investigation.

The outbreak, which began in November a year ago, has been linked to 24 cases of people infected with E. coli and one death in California. Ill people also reported eating different types and brands of romaine lettuce. However, in the United States, state and federal agencies stopped short of making that declaration, stating that the investigation is ongoing. Holidays can increase this delay. But infection with the O157 strain, which produces a shiga toxin, can cause severe abdominal cramps, bloody diarrhea and vomiting.

You can protect yourself by washing your hands thoroughly before and after preparing or eating food.

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