Health Care

Coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce spreads to more states

Coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce spreads to more states

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expanded its warning to consumers Friday to stay away from all types of romaine lettuce grown in the Yuma, Ariz., region because of an E. coli outbreak that has infected at least 61 people in 16 states. The contaminated veggies are clearly coming from one specific region, and until the CDC can figure out what's causing it, avoiding lettuce from that growing area is the best course of action.

"Consumers anywhere in the United States who have store-bought chopped romaine lettuce at home, including salads and salad mixes, should not eat it and should throw it away, even if some of it was eaten and no one has gotten sick".

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The contaminated lettuce is from the Yuma, Arizona region.

"Illnesses that occurred after March 29, 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", the CDC said.

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The outbreak has also affected Alaska, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Virginia and Washington.

Health officials had issued a warning for residents and restaurants about chopped romaine lettuce grown in the Yuma, Arizona, area last week. Figuring out where bagged, store-bought chopped lettuce was originally grown can be hard, so the CDC suggested that if you don't know for certain, avoid chopped romaine lettuce altogether. At this time, no common grower, supplier, distributor, or brand has been identified. No deaths have yet been reported. Among those who have fallen ill, 31 have been hospitalized and five developed a type of kidney failure that can be life-threatening, according to CNN. In addition, CDC officials say restaurants and retailers should ask their suppliers about the source of their romaine lettuce.

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The CDC based the new warning on eight new cases of acute gastroenteritis at a correctional facility in Nome, Alaska, that appear to be connected to the current outbreak affecting 53 people in 16 states.