April 23, 2024

Law Firm Investigates 53 Illnesses, 31 Hospitalizations in E. coli O157:H7 HUS Outbreak Linked to Chopped Romaine

The E. coli O157:H7 HUS outbreak that is linked to chopped romaine lettuce has now sickened 53 people in 16 states. Thirty-one people have been hospitalized because they have been so sick, and five people have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a serious complication of this infection that can cause kidney failure.

E. coli O157-H7 HUS Outbreak Romaine Lettuce 41818

That is an addition of 18 people to the outbreak total in just five days. Five more states have been added to the list. Nine more hospitalizations have now been included in the total, and two more patients have developed HUS.

The case count by state is: Alaska (2), Arizona (3), California (1, Connecticut (2), Idaho (10), Illinois (1), Louisiana (1), Michigan (2), Missouri (1), Montana (6), New Jersey (7), New York (2), Ohio (2), Pennsylvania (12), Virginia (1), and Washington (1). The patient age range is from 10 to 85.

The government is telling consumers that no matter where you live in the country, if you bought chopped romaine lettuce at the store, including salads and salad mixes that contain it, it should be thrown away, even if some of it was eaten and no one has been sick. If you don’t know whether or not the lettuce is romaine, throw it away.

And before you buy romaine lettuce at a grocery store, or order a dish that has it at a restaurant, ask to make sure that it wasn’t chopped lettuce from the Yuma, Arizona growing region. If you can’t confirm the source, do not buy it or eat it.

A very high percentage of patients who have been interviewed said they ate romaine lettuce the week before they got sick. Forty-one of 43 people (95%) ate romaine lettuce; that is significantly higher than the results from a survey taken at the same time, which showed just 46% of healthy people ate romaine lettuce.

Most of the patients sickened in this E. coli O157:H7 HUS outbreak said they ate the chopped romaine lettuce at a restaurant. The restaurants reported using bagged, chopped romaine lettuce to make salads. Whole heads and hearts of romaine are not included in this problem.

The symptoms of an E. coli O157:H7 infection include bloody or watery diarrhea and severe and painful abdominal cramps. Most people do not develop a fever, and vomiting may occur. The symptoms of HUS include little urine output, lethargy, pale skin, and easy bruising. Anyone experiencing these symptoms must see a doctor immediately. Tell the doctor the person has eaten chopped romaine lettuce, and explain about this E. coli O157:H7 HUS outbreak.

This bacteria produces Shiga toxins, which is why it is sometimes called STEC bacteria (Shiga toxin-producing E. coli). The Shiga toxins destroy red blood cells, which can travel to the kidney and brain. The kidneys can fail. Patients can also suffer strokes and seizures.

Pritzker Hageman, America’s food safety law firm, represents people who have been harmed by adulterated foods in outbreaks throughout the United States. Its experienced lawyers have won hundreds of millions of dollars for survivors of food poisoning, including some of the largest verdicts and settlements in American history. The firm’s 2016 victory on behalf of a child with E. coli poisoning and hemolytic uremic syndrome is the biggest recovery of its kind.


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