CDC extends warning to consumers for e-coli outbreak

The CDC has already issued health warnings to the public over the recent outbreak of e-coli in the US. The outbreak has so far affected fifty three people across sixteen different states. Thirty one individuals have been hospitalized due to e-coli symptoms, and although there have been no deaths reported so far, several people have developed a type of kidney failure, which is known as haemolytic uremic syndrome.

The previous warnings issued by the CDC only covered chopped types of romaine lettuce, for example pre-made salad mix. However, following eight new cases of acute gastroenteritis in Nome, Alaska, the CDC has announced that these health warnings will be extended.

The new guidelines to consumers will cover all types of romaine lettuce grown in Yuma, Arizona, which includes whole head and hearts. The CDC haven’t managed to trace the outbreak to any specific grower, supplier, brand or distributor, so the public should avoid all romaine lettuce grown in the Yuma area until further information is provided.

A press release from the state of Alaska said: “Because this outbreak involves a strain of E. coli bacteria (O157:H7) that can lead to serious illness including kidney failure, state officials are asking Alaskans to follow CDC recommendations and avoid any romaine lettuce products that could be contaminated.”

In addition to this, the CDC has issued more warnings over the location the romaine lettuce is grown in. Although the cases that have been reported so far originate from lettuce grown in Yuma, Arizona, consumers should be careful with all romaine lettuce, especially as some products don’t detail the specific growing regions. Consumers have been advised to dispose of all romaine lettuce in their homes, even if it’s been partially eaten already. They should also avoid eating in in restaurants.

E-coli, which is commonly found in the environment, food and in humans and animals. Although the majority of strains are harmless, exposure to a harmful strain through food and drinks can lead to serious side effects. The most common symptoms of e-coli include severe stomach pain, diarrhoea and vomiting. Although most people will see their symptoms disappear within a week, in severe cases they can last longer or lead to hospitalization.

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