E. coli Outbreak Linked to Romaine Lettuce Spikes to 84

Kenny Tucker
April 26, 2018

That's the warning to Ahwatukee residents from the state Department of Health Services, which last week issued an advisory urging people not to eat romaine lettuce from Yuma.

This E. coli outbreak has sent 31 people to the hospital and this strain is especially severe because it has a risk of causing kidney failure. Two days later, on April 13, Radovich's skin had turned pale and yellow and she was no longer urinating, signs that she was suffering from a potentially life-threatening type of kidney failure known as Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome, or HUS. Fortunately, no deaths have been reported.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that three more states - Colorado, Georgia and South Dakota - have been hit by the outbreak, bringing the total number of affected states to 19. The warning now includes whole heads and hearts of romaine lettuce, in addition to chopped romaine and salads and salad mixes containing romaine. If you do not know whether the lettuce is romaine, throw it away.

Mary Stringini is a Digital Producer for ABC Action News.

On Friday, the CDC warned Americans to toss out any romaine lettuce they might have bought in stores.

Most people recover from the infection in five to seven days.

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"They're waiting for the toxins to leave her body completely", Halley said.

"Product labels often do not identify growing regions; so, throw out any romaine lettuce if you're uncertain about where it was grown", the CDC said. Company spokespeople tell the Lansing State Journal that their romaine is sourced from central California or other growing regions.

"We went ahead and just pulled all of our romaine, disposed of it, we served salad through the weekend but they were made with spinach", said Wenig.

Illnesses include 18 cases in Pennsylvania, 13 cases in California, 10 in Idaho, seven cases each in Montana and New Jersey, five cases each in Alaska and Arizona, three in OH, two cases each in Colorado, Connecticut, Michigan, New York and Washington, and a single case each in Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Missouri, South Dakota and Virginia.

Illnesses that occurred after April 5, 2018, might not yet be reported due to the time it takes between when a person becomes ill with E. coli and when the illness is reported. This condition is a medical emergency, and anyone with these symptoms should be taken to a doctor immediately.

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