Published: Thu, May 10, 2018
Medical | By Vernon Walton

Ten Minnesota Cases linked to Romaine Lettuce E. coli Outbreak

Ten Minnesota Cases linked to Romaine Lettuce E. coli Outbreak

The two strains are not related, though the earlier outbreak was also coincidentally linked to romaine lettuce.

Last week, the CDC announced that one person had died; the death, in California, was the first known fatality.

The 29 states involved in the outbreak are: Alaska (8), Arizona (8), California (30), Colorado (2), CT (2), Florida (1), Georgia (5), Idaho (11), IL (2), Kentucky (1), Louisiana (1), MA (3), MI (4), Minnesota (10), MS (1), Missouri (1), Montana (8), New Jersey (8), NY (4), North Dakota (2), OH (3), Pennsylvania (20), South Dakota (1), Tennessee (1), Texas (1), Utah (1), Virginia (1), Washington (7), Wisconsin (2). The most cases have been reported in California (30), followed by Pennsylvania (20) and Idaho (11).

Florida, Minnesota, North Dakota and Texas have joined the list of states reporting at least one E. coli illness linked to the outbreak. Specifically, people who became sick after April 17 have probably not yet been included in the federal count.

"Of the 112 people interviewed, 102, or 91%, reported eating romaine lettuce in the week before their illness started", the CDC wrote on its website Wednesday. CDC is advising consumers not to eat or buy romaine lettuce if they do not know where it was grown. It has pinned its hopes on the fact that sales are over for Yuma, AZ romaine. The ages of those who were sickened ranges from 1 to 88, and 65 percent were female. Eight people in that state got sick.

A small percentage of people diagnosed with STEC infection can develop a life-threatening complication known as HUS (Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome).

While the numbers have changed, the advice from the Centers for Disease Control and the Food and Drug Administration remains the same: Avoid all romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Arizona region as well as any romaine lettuce you can't confirm is not from that area.

Do not serve or sell any romaine lettuce from the Yuma growing region.

Symptoms of illness caused by E. coli O157 typically include stomach cramps and diarrhea, often with bloody stools, but only a low-grade or no fever.

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