E Coli Outbreak Spreads to 15 States; Leafy Greens Suspected

Alicia Farmer
January 13, 2018

An announcement was made on Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which revealed seven more reports of E. coli infections that have spread to two more states, Maryland and New Jersey, in the ongoing outbreak. They believe that those cases were the result of people eating romaine lettuce tainted with the bacteria. Thus Canadian officials declared the outbreak over earlier this week, and American officials followed suit, though public health officials are still urging people to avoid romaine. The source of E. Coli is typically animal poop from an infected animal.

What are Shiga toxin-producing E. coli?

Investigators identified romaine lettuce as the source of the E. coli infections, but still have not determined the cause of the contamination. Romaine lettuce tainted with E. Coli is believed to have sickened 66 people in North America, including MI.

Consumer agencies, as well as politicians like Connecticut Rep. Rosa DeLauro, have criticized the CDC for not being transparent enough during its investigation into this outbreak.

In the United States, a total of 24 STEC O157:H7 infections have been reported from California (4), CT (2), IL (1), IN (2), Maryland (3), MI (1), Nebraska (1), New Hampshire (2), New Jersey (1), NY (1), OH (1), Pennsylvania (2), Vermont (1), Virginia (1), and Washington (1).

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"Because CDC has not identified a specific type of leafy greens linked to the US infections, and because of the short shelf life of leafy greens, CDC is not recommending that USA residents avoid any particular food at this time." the release said. Ill people also reported eating different types and brands of romaine lettuce.

To protect against E. coli infection, health officials say people should thoroughly wash their hands, as well as counters, cutting boards and utensils.

That's good advice. Let's hope this outbreak is contained soon. Checkout Simplemost for other great tips and ideas to make the most out of life.

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