Multistate outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 infections

12 January, 2018, 06:19 | Author: Jeffery Armstrong
  • Public advisory

"We think it's important to avoid eating romaine until the cause of this outbreak is determined", said Jean Halloran, Consumer Reports food policy expert.

Of those, one person died while 17 others were hospitalized. No local cases have been reported. There has been one death in California, which was previously reported as connected to the outbreak.

This is about the same timing of an outbreak of E. coli in Canada, which health officials declared over on Wednesday. Five (56%) of nine ill people specifically reported eating romaine lettuce.

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) said it was no longer advising people to consider consuming other lettuce types, instead of romaine. Ill people also reported eating different types and brands of romaine lettuce. However, an eerily similar outbreak in the U.S.is still being investigated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The investigation is ongoing, but CDC is not recommending that USA residents avoid any particular food at this time.

No source has been identified yet. This percentage was not significantly higher than results from a survey of healthy people in which 46% reported eating romaine lettuce in the week before they were interviewed.

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Health officials, Behm said, take action when there is clear and convincing information linking illness to a contaminated food.

The Public Health Agency of Canada identified romaine lettuce as the source of the outbreak in Canada.

As of January 10, 2018, 24 people are sick. FDA needs to act promptly to protect consumers' health.

Here's how lettuce becomes tainted.

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

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"Vegetables can be contaminated if animal feces are in the field or in irrigation or washing water", Rogers said.

"This is a risky strain of E. coli that can cause severe illness and even death", said Halloran's statement.

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. It also warns not to purchase packaged, loose or mixed salads that may have romaine lettuce.

Most people develop diarrhea (often bloody) and stomach cramps. Some people may have a slight fever. This condition, which includes symptoms such as extreme fatigue, decreased urination and paleness in the cheeks and under the eyes, typically occurs about seven days after E. coli symptoms first start.

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