In a follow-up on the multistate E. coli O157 outbreak reported on earlier this week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports 8 more illnesses have been reported and 2 states have been added to the investigation (Indiana and Pennsylvania).
37 people infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O157 have been reported from 4 states: Indiana (1), Michigan (15), Ohio (19), and Pennsylvania (2).
10 people have been hospitalized, including 3 people in Michigan who have a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). No deaths have been reported.
A specific food has not yet been confirmed as the source of this outbreak, but most sick people reported eating sandwiches with romaine lettuce at Wendy’s restaurants before getting sick.
Among 26 people interviewed, 22 (86%) reported eating at a Wendy’s restaurant in the week before their illness started.
The Wendy’s restaurants where sick people ate are in Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. The sick person in Indiana has not been interviewed.
Based on the information collected so far, Wendy’s is taking the precautionary measure of removing the romaine lettuce being used in sandwiches from restaurants in that region. Wendy’s uses a different type of romaine lettuce for salads.
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CDC is not advising that people avoid eating at Wendy’s restaurants or that people stop eating romaine lettuce.
At this time, there is no evidence to indicate that romaine lettuce sold in grocery stores, served in other restaurants, or in people’s homes is linked to this outbreak.
Investigators are working to confirm whether romaine lettuce is the source of this outbreak, and whether romaine lettuce served at Wendy’s restaurants was served or sold at other businesses.
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