More sickened by romaine lettuce

Lab technician extracts DNA for whole genome sequencing at the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment's Molecular Science Laboratory in Denver

More sickened by romaine lettuce

Colorado now has two cases linked to the romaine lettuce E. coli outbreak, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Since its last update on April 25, the CDC has added three more states to the outbreak - Mississippi, Tennessee, and Wisconsin. Of the 98 people sickened, 46 have been hospitalized (53%). Ten patients have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a potentially fatal kidney complication.

The Centers for Disease Control released a new update on the scale of E. coli infections spreading across the country, with almost 20 states now reporting illnesses. While no deaths have been reported, the CDC also advised the public that more cases-and increased severity-could be later reported as more and more patients flock to local hospitals.

Product labels often do not identify growing regions; so, do not eat or buy it if you are uncertain about where it was grown. The agency expanded its warning from just chopped romaine to any and all forms of the lettuce - whole romaine, romaine in mixed salads, etc.

In a press briefing Friday, investigators from the CDC and FDA warned consumers to continue to be careful when eating romaine lettuce.

This is the most significant Shiga-toxin producing E.coli break out considering that a 2006 break out connected to spinach grown in the Salinas Valley in California, Wise stated. Although most recover in one week, it could lead to kidney failure.

"If its coming from a processor, which is bagged lettuce, it becomes much more hard to trace that because often times several farms will sell to the plants", said Eric Derstine, horticulture extension agent for Pitt County.

The type of bacteria linked to the outbreak is known as E. coli O157:H7, and it generally causes vomiting, bloody diarrhea, and cramps about three to four days after eating the lettuce. A number of chain restaurants like Panera Bread and Chipotle have pulled their menu items with romaine lettuce.

The CDC stressed that E. coli illness can be very serious, even deadly. However, they have identified Harrison Farms in Yuma as the grower of the whole heads of romaine that caused illness in eight inmates at a correctional facility in Nome, Alaska. But the other 90 illnesses in this outbreak are not linked to romaine lettuce from Harrison Farms. This warning comes after almost 100 people in 22 states across the United States have become ill with E. Coli.

Doctors say it's important to know the source of where your greens are coming from before consuming them.

Speaking at the news instruction, he anxious that other location farms might likewise be impacted.

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