More sickened by romaine lettuce

A plate of butternut Caesar salad with Romaine lettuce and roasted cubes of butternut squash

"Even if you tested food for one type of E. coli bacteria, it could be contaminated with a different type".

According to the Associated Press, health officials said Friday the outbreak has now spread to Mississippi, Tennessee and Wisconsin.

For most, recovery will occur within a week, but more severe cases last longer.

"We do expect more reports of illness since there is a two-week delay between when a person becomes ill and when they are confirmed to be part of an outbreak", said Matthew Wise, deputy branch chief for outbreak response at the CDC's Division of Foodborne, Waterborne, and Environmental Diseases.

No deaths have been reported.

The search for the source of the outbreak is ongoing.

The FDA is looking at two dozen other farms as the source of the chopped romaine tied to illnesses.

CDC'S Matt Wise said everyone should avoid eating romaine lettuce unless it's clearly not from the Yuma.

Stic Harris, director of the FDA's Coordinated Outbreak Response and Evaluation Network, said his agency is working with the the CDC to identify the channels that enabled the outbreak. Other products at the farm do not seem to be contaminated. Because the growing season in the Yuma region is at its end, the farm is not growing any lettuce at this time.

In the meantime, people should not buy or eat romaine unless they know it's not from Yuma.

The firm likewise cautioned dining establishments not to serve romaine lettuce to consumers.

If you already have store bought romaine lettuce in your fridge, the CDC said you're better off not eating and throwing it away.


Investigators say the bacteria that are making people sick are especially aggressive because they produce a kind of toxin called Shiga toxin 2, or Stx2. "Do I know it's from California? No". This advisory includes whole heads, hearts of romaine, chopped romaine, baby romaine, organic romaine, and salads and salad mixes containing romaine lettuce. Ten of those cases are in Idaho, and eight are in Montana.

The most recent illness started on April 20. The CDC reporting Pennsylvania is the worst hit with 18 cases. Early symptoms may include bloody diarrhea, fever, nausea and vomiting.

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.

If I get sick, what do I do?

Over the course of several days, Halley took her daughter to see a pediatrician twice, and twice rushed her to the emergency room because she was in so much pain.

The outbreak first began in April.

Infections have been tied to the E. coli O157:H7 strain and illnesses have often been severe.

"She told us, 'her kidneys are flawless, ' " Halley recalled. Neither child was hospitalized. She has had to receive all her nutrition intravenously, and has had four blood transfusions to treat severe anemia.

So far, 46 people nationwide have been hospitalized due to the illness.

"This has been an absolute nightmare", said Halley, 36.

Overall, outbreaks like the present are rare but more common in certain types of foods.

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