In a follow-up on the multistate outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 infections linked to romaine lettuce, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports 14 additional cases, bringing the outbreak total to 98.
Three more states have reported ill people: Mississippi, Tennessee, and Wisconsin. To date, 22 states have been affected.
Forty-six people out of 87 with available information (53%) have been hospitalized, including 10 who developed a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome. CDC laboratory testing has confirmed that the strain of Shiga-toxin producing E. coli O157:H7 causing this outbreak produces a type of toxin that tends to cause more severe illness, which may explain why there is a high hospitalization rate.
No deaths have been reported.
CDC offers the following advice to consumers:
- Do not eat or buy romaine lettuce unless you can confirm it is not from the Yuma, Arizona, growing region.
- Product labels often do not identify growing regions; so, do not eat or buy romaine lettuce if you do not know where it was grown.
- This advice includes whole heads and hearts of romaine, chopped romaine, baby romaine, organic romaine, and salads and salad mixes containing romaine lettuce. If you do not know if the lettuce in a salad mix is romaine, do not eat it.