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Fourteen more fall sick from E. coli linked to romaine lettuce: CDC

Fourteen more fall sick from E. coli linked to romaine lettuce: CDC

An outbreak of E. coli linked to tainted romaine lettuce has spread to Wisconsin.

What's truly scary about this bout of E. coli sicknesses is that many people have developed a rare kidney disease known as hemolytic uremic syndrome-a phenomena where the kidney fails, and E. coli is the gateway sickness for many of those victims who have since developed what's known as HUS.

"The Shiga toxin strain in this outbreak is STX-2 only producing E. coli . one that tends to cause more severe illness based on the toxin profile it produces", Wise said. No deaths have been reported, CDC said.

The CDC advises consumers to throw away any romaine that might be from the Yuma region even if some of it has been eaten already with no sign of illness.

This advice includes whole heads and hearts of romaine, chopped romaine, baby romaine, organic romaine, and salads and salad mixes containing romaine lettuce. Romaine confirmed not to be from the Yuma area is OK to eat.

Doctors say this strain of E. coli is especially risky because it produces a toxin that could lead to kidney complications.

For most, recovery will occur within a week, but more severe cases last longer.

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"If its coming from a processor, which is bagged lettuce, it becomes much more hard to trace that because often times several farms will sell to the plants", said Eric Derstine, horticulture extension agent for Pitt County. A number of chain restaurants like Panera Bread and Chipotle have pulled their menu items with romaine lettuce. By April 10, the CDC had issued its first announcement about the E. coli illness outbreak.

Izabella Radovich of Wilton, California, was among those who got sick from eating contaminated salad. Of the 87 clients the CDC has great info on, 46 (53 percent) have actually needed hospitalization, the firm kept in mind.

Doctors say it's important to know the source of where your greens are coming from before consuming them. "As we go through the distribution of product, we are looking for places of convergence where the contamination may have happened".

What are the symptoms of E. coli infection?

The romaine lettuce is contaminated with a very serious, toxin-producing strain of E. coli, which can cause bloody diarrhea and kidney failure.

.

Cases of E-coli linked to romaine lettuce have been popping up around the country, and now MS has been added to the list.

"The FDA is continuing to investigate the source of the chopped romaine lettuce that caused these illnesses and has identified dozens of other fields as possible sources", the agency said.

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