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E.coli Outbreak from Romaine Lettuce

Based on new updates about E.coli outbreaks the CDC extends its warning to include all types of romaine lettuce. It avoids consumers to eat romaine lettuce growing from Yuma, Arizona. And discourage the consumer to buy at grocery store unless proven that it is not come from the same region. Mostly the packaging of the romaine lettuce does not indicate the growing regions. So it encourages consumers to throw away the romaine lettuce even if symptoms of E.coli infections did not occur. Restaurant also prevented to serve any salads containing romaine lettuce that came from Yuma, Arizona. Also the retailers not allowed selling any of it that came from the region.

 

What is E.coli?

E.coli is a gram-negative coliform bacterium that is facultatively anaerobic. It is enteric bacteria not normally thrive in the intestine of animals and human. Most E.coli strains are harmless and part of normal flora in the gut that offers benefits to the host. By producing vitamin K and preventing any pathogenic bacteria through symbiotic relationships. But some of its strain is harmful like E.coli 0157:H7 that cause serious illnesses. Like gastroenteritis, hemorrhagic colitis and urinary tract infections. The usual symptoms and sign of infections include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, vomiting and fever. Most likely children are more susceptible to infections that develop severe illnesses. This E.coli 0157:H7 produced shiga toxin that caused premature destruction of red blood cells which damaged the kidneys.

 

What went before?

E.coli outbreaks have sickened at least 53 people in 16 states according to the CDC. Last March 13, 2018 reported to have 31 people hospitalized since the onset of the outbreaks. Five people developed kidney failure but no death have been recorded. No recalls have been made because the CDC could not identify the specific grower that is responsible for the outbreaks. But official released a statement for the consumer to throw away all romaine lettuce even if sickness didn’t appear.

 

The outbreaks dates started from March 22, 2018 to March 31, 2018. On April 10, 2018, 18 more people from 9 states were added to this outbreak. As of April 12, 2018, another 35 people infected of E.coli 0157:H7 have been reported from 11 states. So far, Pennsylvania has the highest cases of infection followed by Idaho. Health officials advice consumers to avoid buying romaine lettuce up to date unless source known not come from Yuma, Arizona. Additionally, more hospitalization has been reported and in past few days more new cases added to CDC investigation.

 

Source: Prepared by Joan Tura from Center for Disease Control and Prevention