In the past week, 31 more people have fallen ill in a multistate E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
This particular strain of E. coli produces a Shiga toxin that causes severe symptoms, such as vomiting and diarrhea, and can also lead to kidney failure. No common grower, supplier, distributor or brand from the Yuma area has been identified. No deaths have been reported.
CDC investigations indicate that romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Ariz., growing region could be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7. The agency expanded its warning from just chopped romaine to any and all forms of the lettuce - whole romaine, romaine in mixed salads, etc.
Mary Stringini is a Digital Producer for ABC Action News. Most are gone within a week, but some can last longer and be more severe, the CDC said. The CDC cautions that consumers should not eat any type of romaine grown in Yuma, Arizona.
"They're waiting for the toxins to leave her body completely", Halley said.
The CDC based the new warning on eight new cases of acute gastroenteritis at a correctional facility in Nome, Alaska, that appear to be connected to the current outbreak affecting 53 people in 16 states.
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They went back to the emergency room, where the hospital said Radovich was having kidney failure and sent her by ambulance to a nearby children's hospital in Roseville, California.
"If it's a chopped product like romaine, the bacteria can get in the ends of the cut lettuce and thrive there", said Clark.
DHS is working with local health departments, the CDC and the FDA to confirm the source of the E. coliO157 infections, to identify additional cases and to prevent the spread of the disease.
Clark says for the most part the bags of lettuce sold in grocery stores that are triple washed are generally safe to eat, but washing fruits and veggies with water is not going to help get rid of the E. coli.
Restaurants and retailers should ask their suppliers about the source of their romaine lettuce.
Other states with multiple confirmed cases include New Jersey with seven, Arizona with three, and Connecticut, Michigan, New York and OH with two. Anyone experiencing those symptoms is urged to call a doctor. Those most at risk for E. coli illness include the very young, the very old and individuals with compromised immune systems.