The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported 47 more illnesses in this outbreak since our last report on August 19.
The total number of cases of the outbreak strain of E. coli O157 is now 84 in four states–Indiana (6), Michigan (53), Ohio (23), and Pennsylvania (2).
38 people have been hospitalized, including 8 people in Michigan who have a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome. 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 burgers and sandwiches with romaine lettuce at Wendy’s restaurants before getting sick.
Among 62 people interviewed, 52 (84%) reported eating at a Wendy’s restaurant in the week before their illness started.
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Of 17 people with detailed information about what they ate at Wendy’s, 15 (88%) reported eating romaine lettuce served on burgers and sandwiches.
The Wendy’s restaurants where sick people ate are in Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
Based on the information collected so far, Wendy’s has taken 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.
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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