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m3n4.net January 21, 2018


Romaine lettuce is a bad choice right now, health agencies warn

12 January 2018, 12:29 | Louis Holland

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There's new information on the deadly E. coli outbreak that News 10 has been tracking that could be linked to romaine lettuce.

Eighteen people have become ill, nine people were hospitalized, and one person died in California.

The CDC said that six of the seven new cases occurred within the time frame of all the other reported incidents, between November 15 and December 8. The government issued an official warning and recalled all bagged and fresh stores of romaine lettuce, but the bacteria still managed to sicken at least 58 people so far in the USA and Canada.

People are no longer being advised to consider other lettuces instead of romaine.

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Whole genome sequencing (WGS) showed that the STEC O157:H7 strain from ill people in the United States is closely related genetically to the STEC O157:H7 strain from ill people in Canada. 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.

Last week, the CDC said it was eyeing leafy greens as the possible culprit and, this week, seem to be still looking for the source as the outbreak investigation continues. Consumer Reports still warned against eating romaine. Thus, CDC is not recommending that USA residents avoid any particular food given the short shelf life of leafy greens and because a specific type of leafy greens has not been identified.

Most people develop diarrhea (often bloody) and stomach cramps.

The CDC says state and local health officials are interviewing patients to try to determine what they ate before getting sick. Two people developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure.

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In a media statement, Halloran urged the CDC and Canadian officials to share their raw data on the outbreak and called on the FDA to request and review internal bacterial testing data from producers of romaine lettuce in order to pinpoint the source of the E. coli bacteria that has triggered the illnesses. However, in the United States, state and federal agencies stopped short of making that declaration, stating that the investigation is ongoing. People usually get sick 3 to 5 days after they eat food that is contaminated with the pathogenic bacteria. "You can't taste, smell or see E. coli, which is what makes it so unsafe". There has been one death, which was previously reported. Finally, avoid preparing food when you are sick, particularly if you are sick with diarrhea.

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) issued its first announcement about an E coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce on December 11. The E. coli lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of E. coli and other foodborne illness infections and have recovered over $600 million for clients.

Symptoms of E. coli typically begin two to eight days after consuming the bacteria.

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