CDC expands romaine lettuce warning - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

CDC expands romaine lettuce warning

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WASHINGTON -

The Centers for Disease Control has expanded an earlier warning to consumers about eating chopped romaine lettuce and salad mixes containing romaine to cover all types of romaine lettuce, including whole heads and hearts of romaine grown in the Yuma, Arizona region.

The original advisory was issued on April 10 after people in several states reported becoming ill from E. coli after eating chopped romaine.

Since then the number of people becoming ill has grown to 53 in sixteen states.

Based on new information, the CDC announced on Friday that it was adding whole heads and hears of romaine and is telling consumers not to buy or eat romaine lettuce at a grocery store or restaurant unless you can confirm that it is not from the Yuma growing region.

The expanded warning is based on information from newly reported illnesses in Alaska where people reported eating lettuce from whole heads of romaine lettuce from the Yuma area.

Illnesses related to romaine include 12 cases in Pennsylvania and two in Ohio, where both victims are 24-year-old women from Mahoning County. One of the Ohio women was temporarily hospitalized after becoming ill.

31 people have been hospitalized, including five people who have developed a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome.

No deaths have been reported.

Unless the source of the product is known, the CDC says consumers anywhere in the United States who have any store-bought romaine lettuce at home should not eat it and should throw it away, even if some of it was eaten and no one has gotten sick.

Product labels often do not identify growing regions; so people are being told throw out any romaine lettuce if you are uncertain about where it was grown. This includes whole heads and hearts of romaine, chopped romaine, and salads and salad mixes containing romaine lettuce. If you do not know if the lettuce is romaine, do not eat it and throw it away, says the CDC.

The CDC says restaurants and retailers also should not serve or sell any romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Arizona growing region.

Businesses have been told to ask their suppliers about the source of their romaine lettuce.

The CDC says its investigation is continuing.

Symptoms of E. coli Infections

People usually get sick from Shiga toxin-producing E. coli 2-8 days (average of 3-4 days) after swallowing the germ.

Most people infected with E. coli develop diarrhea (often bloody), severe stomach cramps and vomiting.

Most people recover within one week.

Some illnesses last longer and can be more severe, resulting in a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS).

HUS can occur in people of any age but is most common in young children under 5 years, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems.

Symptoms of HUS can include fever, abdominal pain, pale skin tone, fatigue and irritability, small, unexplained bruises or bleeding from the nose and mouth, and decreased urination.

People who experience these symptoms should seek emergency medical care immediately.

E. coli infection is usually diagnosed by testing a stool sample.

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