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05 January 2018, 01:40 | Rodolfo Quinn
Coli breakout linked to romaine lettuce
Over the past seven weeks, as Consumer Reports notes, 58 people in the USA and Canada have become ill from a unsafe strain of E. coli bacteria, likely from eating romaine lettuce. The states include: California (3), CT (2), IL (1), IN (1), MI (1), Nebraska (1), New Hampshire (2), NY (1), OH (1), Pennsylvania (1), Virginia (1), Vermont (1) and Washington (1). Five people in the US have been hospitalized as a result of the outbreak, which has occurred over the past seven weeks, Consumer Reports said.
The strain of E. coli that's sickening people now produces a toxin than can lead to serious illness, kidney failure and death, Consumer Reports said. The CDC said, however, in its release that because it had not yet identified a source of the infections, it was unable to recommend whether USA residents should avoid a particular food. In the United States, the illness has occurred in 13 states, including California.
Although P.E.I. was not included in the latest advisory, P.E.I.'s Chief Public Health Officer, Heather Morrison, said Islanders who want to consume romaine lettuce should make sure they are washing their lettuce thoroughly before eating it.
The Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued warnings about the outbreak. The Public Health Agency of Canada is also investigating a similar outbreak-- and tests are being done to see if those are related to the illnesses in the U.S.
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Health officials are warning the public about a unsafe strain of E. coli that may be linked to romaine lettuce.
An E. coli outbreak has sickened more than a dozen Americans, and it's possible that romaine lettuce could be the source. Canadian officials said the illnesses were reported in Canada in November and early December of 2017.
Do not buy romaine lettuce and don't use any that you may have in your refrigerator until there is more information on the source of contamination, CR says. "If so, and people aren't warned, more may get sick". Infections with E. coli O157 can be life-threatening, especially for the elderly, the very young and immune-compromised people, such as cancer patients, Williams said. "People in these groups should be particularly vigilant about avoiding romaine lettuce", Rogers said.
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