Published: Thu, May 10, 2018
Medicine | By Earnest Bishop

CDC: Nearly 150 sickened by E. coli-tainted lettuce

CDC: Nearly 150 sickened by E. coli-tainted lettuce

Federal health officials say six Canadians have fallen ill due to E. Coli in romaine lettuce similar to the strain that has caused almost 150 illnesses in the United States.

In numbers updated Wednesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that Florida, Minnesota, North Dakota and Texas have now reported at least one illness linked to the outbreak. We don't know exactly where in Texas that person lives.

And while the tainted romaine lettuce is thought to have originated from the Yuma region, "product labels often do not identify growing regions; so throw out any romaine lettuce if you're uncertain about where it was grown", the agency said in its warning.

In fact, the CDC recommends you don't eat romaine lettuce at all, unless you're sure of where it was grown.

The current outbreak is the worst since 2006, when E. coli contaminated spinach killed three people and sickened 199 others across 26 states. Seventeen have developed a unsafe form of kidney failure, and one person in California has died.

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Cases could still increase, since the time that passes between when a person getting sick and when it's reported takes an average of two to three weeks, according to the CDC.

In April, health officials warned consumers to toss out any romaine lettuce they might have purchased in stores. With supportive treatment, most people recover in a matter of five to seven days.

As previously reported, data indicates that the contaminated romaine lettuce originated from the Yuma, AZ, growing region.

The bureau says if it's determined that polluted romaine lettuce is at the Canadian marketplace, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency will remember the merchandise as needed.

This advisory includes whole heads and hearts of romaine, chopped romaine, baby romaine, organic romaine, and salads containing romaine lettuce.

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