Ask the Expert: Tips on E. coli outbreak

Riley Steinbrenner  The Badger Herald

Other states reporting E. coli linked to romaine lettuce include: Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin. During that period, the key California growing regions are too cool or wet for lettuce production, but Arizona winters provide ideal conditions, he said.

At the time of CDC's notice, the outbreak had spread to 121 people in 25 states.

Last month, authorities urged American consumers to discard and to stop eating romaine lettuce unless they were sure that the salads did not come from the Yuma region of southwestern Arizona.

The CDC has warned people to stay away from romaine lettuce if unsure of where it's from, as the agency wishes people be safe rather than sorry. The California Department of Health is not releasing details about the person who died. It is safe to consume romaine lettuce that originates from other regions, however.

Most infections are mild and the majority of people recover within a week, however some cases can be life-threatening.

Women Caught Up In Cervical Screening Delays Have Died
This January, Ms Phelan - who took the High Action with her husband Jim Phelan - was told that she had six to 12 months to live. The Minister for Health wants HIQA to investigate why 162 women were not told their smear tests were being reviewed.

The agency is also advising restaurants and retailers not to "serve or sell" any romaine from that area. The CDC says the average rate of hospitalization during E. coli outbreaks is typically much lower.

Fifty-two people out of 102 with available information (or 51 percent) have been hospitalized, including 14 patients who developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure. E coli already made about 100 people extremely sick, more than half of them ended up in the hospital.

The outbreak started on March 13, according to the CDC. The warning applies to whole heads and hearts of romaine, as well as chopped romaine, baby romaine, and salads containing romaine lettuce. Suggesting Yuma was hardly a stretch (most of America's wintertime romaine is in fact grown there), and the FDA was able to narrow it down to a producer called Harrison Farms.

Dr. Niel Johnson with Aurora Health Care joined to talk about what an E. coli infection is and what to do if you think you have one.

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