First US death in romaine lettuce E.coli outbreak

Terry Joseph
May 3, 2018

The Food and Drug Administration said most people reported eating a salad at a restaurant, and romaine lettuce was the only common ingredient identified among the salads eaten.

There is no further information reported by the CDC on the death in Califonia as the California Department of Public Health said it can not provide any more details due to patient privacy laws.

At the time of CDC's notice, the outbreak had spread to 121 people in 25 states.

The unusually high hospitalization rate of 51 percent shows the outbreak strain of E. coli O157: H7 is particularly risky.

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An E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce has turned deadly, with one person dying in California, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Wednesday. Three more states have been added to the case count: Kentucky, Massachusetts, and Utah.

With the investigation into the source of contamination still under way, federal health officials are still warning the public to avoid any type of romaine lettuce unless they are certain that it didn't come from growing regions in Yuma, Ariz., which have been linked to the outbreak. Restaurants and retailers are also instructed not to sell or serve romaine lettuce, and to check with their suppliers regarding where their romaine lettuce is sourced.

For most, recovery will occur within a week, but more severe cases last longer. Signs of HUS include fever, abdominal pain, pale skin tone, fatigue and irritability, unexplained bruises or bleeding from the nose and mouth, and decreased urination. They identified Harrison Farms in Yuma, Arizona as the source of whole romaine heads that sickened eight people at the Anvil Mountain Correctional Facility in Nome, Alaska. As of the update Wednesday, the illness onset dates for the outbreak victims range from March 13 to April 21. "This includes salads and salad mixes containing romaine lettuce", says the CDC. "Talk to your doctor if you have symptoms of an E. coli infection and report your illness to your local health department".

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