The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified romaine lettuce grown around Yuma, Ariz., as the cause of an E. coli outbreak that has so far sent 22 people to the hospital and made 13 more sick.
As of Friday, no deaths were reported in the latest outbreak but three of those sickened developed a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome, the CDC reported. Most people recover in five to seven days.
"Most people reported eating a salad at a restaurant, and romaine lettuce was the only common ingredient identified among the salads eaten".
CDC also said the number of cases may increase "due to the time it takes between when a person becomes ill with E. coli and when the illness is reported". Those states are Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington.
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So far, the contaminated lettuce can be traced only to the Yuma, Arizona, growing region. Those most at risk for E. coli illness include the very young, the very old and individuals with compromised immune systems.
Consumers anywhere in the United States who have store-bought chopped romaine lettuce at home, including salads and salad mixes containing chopped romaine lettuce, should not eat it and should throw it away, even if some of it was eaten and no one has gotten sick. "Anyone experiencing symptoms of this illness should see a healthcare provider".
CDC urged people to check the origin of the romaine lettuce before buying it at a grocery store or ordering it at a restaurant.
This is not the first time romaine lettuce were linked to the spread of E. coli.
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The CDC reported that the infection has been found in 11 states.
In general, the bacteria that cause E. coli outbreaks typically comes from infected animals' waste coming into contact with food that someone eats or handles.
Symptoms usually vary from person to person. The symptoms include loss of appetite, fatigue, severe abdominal cramping, diarrhea and fever.
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