Third Mahoning County woman linked to E. coli outbreak - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Third Mahoning County woman linked to E. coli outbreak

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WASHINGTON -

The Centers for Disease Control continues advising people to avoid eating romaine lettuce as Ohio reports its third case of E. coli and once again it is another woman from Mahoning County.

The Centers for Disease Control on Wednesday reported that 31 more people and three more states are involved in its investigation into the E. coli outbreak believed to have been caused by romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Arizona growing region.

The number of cases in Ohio increased from two to three in the latest report.

All three cases were recorded in Mahoning County.

The Ohio Department of Health tells 21 News that an 18-year-old woman from Mahoning reported symptoms in late March.

Although the health department would not say if the woman was hospitalized, officials did say that two of the three Mahoning County cases involved hospitalizations. Both of the women were later released from the hospital according to the health department.

State health officials told 21 News earlier that only one of the two 24-year-old Mahoning County women who were reported as earlier cases required hospitalization.

Although the CDC links the cases to the Arizona lettuce, the Mahoning County Board of Health has yet to determine which store or restaurant sold the lettuce eaten by the three local women.

Since the last update on April 18, the CDC says that 31 more people from around the nation have been added to the outbreak which is now in 19 states.

Of the 84 people infected since the outbreak, half of them have been hospitalized.

Nine people have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure.

No deaths have been reported.

Ill people range in age from 1 to 88 years, with a median age of 31. Sixty-five percent of ill people are female.

The CDC says illnesses that occurred after April 5 might not yet be reported due to the time it takes between when a person becomes ill with E. coli and when the illness is reported. This takes an average of two to three weeks.

State and local health officials continue to interview ill people to ask about the foods they ate and other exposures before they became ill.

Sixty-four of 67 people interviewed reported eating romaine lettuce in the week before their illness started.

The investigation has not identified a common grower, supplier, distributor, or brand of romaine lettuce.

CDC 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, 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.

CDC Advice to Restaurants and Retailers:

Do not serve or sell any romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Arizona growing region. This includes whole heads and hearts of romaine, chopped romaine, and salads and salad mixes containing romaine lettuce.

Restaurants and retailers should ask their suppliers about the source of their romaine lettuce.

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