tiptrot.com July 17, 2018

Coli linked to romaine lettuce confirmed in Washington

28 April 2018, 10:57 | Nichole Osborne

Is there a thin layer of plastic covering your romaine lettuce?

E. Coli Infections: Contaminated Romaine Lettuce Sickens 98, Hospitalizes 46

An outbreak of E. coli bacteria in romaine lettuce has nearly doubled in size over the past week, sickening 98 people in 22 states, USA health officials said on Friday (Apr 28).

Physicians reported three cases in King County and two in Spokane County, the Washington State Department of Health announced Friday. Neither child was hospitalized.

And while the tainted romaine lettuce is thought to have originated from the Yuma region, "product labels often do not identify growing regions; so throw out any romaine lettuce if you're uncertain about where it was grown", the agency said in its warning.

Even after her daughter became sick, some friends and acquaintances didn't realize how serious the illness was until they saw Radovich in the hospital.

Although not one of those affected by the outbreak has died, nine patients developed a risky form of kidney failure, the agency said. The others live in King County.

Health officials and grocery stores have attempted to keep the public informed since the first case was reported March 13.

Further details on the patients' health status, as well as their genders and identities, are unknown.

The strain of E. coli at the center of the outbreak that has sickened 98 people in 22 states can cause severe illness, including bloody diarrhea and a type of kidney failure.

Doctors say antibiotics or anti-diarrheal medications should not be used for treatment as they can cause more complications with the kidneys, instead they suggest hydration will lead to the quickest road to recovery.

The Yuma region provides most of the romaine sold in the US during the winter. Wise said though all outbreak cases have the same DNA pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) pattern, the CDC will be doing whole-genome sequencing on samples from patients to look for any more clues that might line up with what the FDA will find in its testing. Check with the store where you bought the lettuce.

"We're in this transition period". That farm's harvest has ended, Harris said. "You just have to be extremely careful". Louisiana, Tennessee and Georgia have also reported cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

There have been larger outbreaks in recent years, but they have been geographically limited. Most people can prevent E.coli by properly handling food and practicing good hygiene. Though it is more common with children, up to 15 percent.

Since the last few days, only one person in the state has been reported to the CDC with the illness.

The US Food and Drug Administration is investigating at least two dozen farms as possible sources.

Based on information from growers, federal officials said they can't guarantee there are no more romaine products now coming out of the Yuma growing region.

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