First US death in romaine lettuce E.coli outbreak

May 03, 2018, 09:31
First US death in romaine lettuce E.coli outbreak

Most of the illnesses in this outbreak are not linked to romaine lettuce from this farm, and are associated with chopped romaine lettuce.

The death, first from this outbreak, was reported from California, according to CDC.

The weeks-long E. coli outbreak tied to romaine lettuce has killed one person and expanded to half of the US states.

Officials believe the lettuce was grown in the Yuma, Arizona, area.

Three more states-Kentucky, Massachusetts, and Utah-have reported their first cases in the outbreak, pushing the number of affected states to 25. All romaine from the farm linked to Alaska's cases was harvested between Mar 5 and Mar 16, and health officials said last week that the facility is now growing grass. However, in some people, such as children under five, the elderly, or people with compromised immune systems, the disease can progress into a sometimes-fatal form of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). It is safe to consume romaine lettuce that originates from other regions, however.

The agency also warned restaurants not to serve romaine lettuce to customers.

The case count by state is: Alaska (8), Arizona (8), California (24), Colorado (2), CT (2), Georgia (4), Idaho (11), IL (1), Kentucky (1), Louisiana (1), MA (2), MI (4), MS (1), Missouri (1), Montana (8), New Jersey (7), NY (2), OH (3), Pennsylvania (20), South Dakota (1), Tennessee (1), Virginia (1), Washington (6), and Wisconsin (1). "If you do not know if the lettuce is romaine, do not eat it and throw it away".

On average, symptoms of E. coli begin three to four days after consuming the bacteria, and the symptoms include stomach cramps, diarrhea, and vomiting. The warning applies to whole heads and hearts of romaine, as well as chopped romaine, baby romaine, and salads containing romaine lettuce. The CDC advises anyone with these symptoms to seek medical attention as E. coli infection is typically diagnosed via a stool sample.