April 18, 2024

E. coli O157:H7 Romaine Outbreak Increases With 52 Sick and 19 Hospitalized

The E. coli O157:H7 romaine outbreak has grown, according to an update posted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Since the last update posted in November 26, 2018, an additional nine patients have been added to the total for 52 sick. Those patients live in 15 states. Nineteen people have been hospitalized.

E. coli O157:H7 Romaine Outbreak 12618

The patient case count by state in this E. coli O157:H7 romaine outbreak is: California (11), Connecticut (1), Florida (1), Illinois (2), Louisiana (1), Massachusetts (1), Maryland (1), Michigan (7), New Hampshire (6), New Jersey (11), New York (6), Ohio (1), Pennsylvania (1), Rhode Island (1), and Wisconsin (1).  Illness onset dates range from October 5, 2018 to November 18, 2018. Nineteen people have been hospitalized; two have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure.

The patient age range is from 1 to 84 years. Of forty-five people who have been interviewed, 19, or 42%, have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

The Public Health Agency of Canada has identified at least 22 people with the same illness. The bacteria that has sickened people in that country has the same DNA fingerprint of the E. coli O157:H7 outbreak in America.

Attorney Fred Pritzker

Call lawyer Fred Pritzker for help at 1-888-377-8900.

Food safety attorney Fred Pritzker, who has represented many clients sickened with E. coli infections and HUS, said, “While it’s good that public health officials have narrowed the focus of their investigation, leafy green producers need to start being more proactive about producing a safe product. People should not get sick just because they bought lettuce from a supermarket.”

The CDC has identified the growing area where they believe the contaminated lettuce was harvested: the Central Coastal growing regions of northern and central California. Some romaine lettuce is now labeled with a harvest location by region. Check all romaine lettuce if you are buying it. If there is no label, or if the label states the lettuce was harvested from the Central Coasting growing region of California, do not buy it. This advisory applies to all types of romaine, including whole heads, hearts of romaine, and bags and boxes of precut lettuce and salad mixes, including baby romaine, spring mix, and Caesar salad.

If you did buy romaine lettuce before that product was labeled, throw it out. Clean your refrigerator with a mild bleach solution to kill any bacteria. This E. coli O157:H7 romaine outbreak is serious.

If you have eaten romaine lettuce and have been ill with the symptoms of an E. coli infection, see your doctor. Those symptoms include severe abdominal cramps, a mild fever, and diarrhea that is usually bloody. The symptoms of HUS, which can be life-threatening, include little urine output, easy bruising, pale skin, and lethargy.

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