In the US, tainted lettuce caused a national food poisoning outbreak, killing a total of five people. Health officials have stated that there are almost 200 other people sickened after consuming romaine lettuce.
The lettuce that made so many victims was grown in Yuma, Ariz. However, there is some good news. According to the health officials, the growing season ended six weeks ago, so there won’t be any more tainted lettuce. And knowing that lettuce has a short shelf life, it’s unlikely it is still in stores or people’s homes.
Unfortunately, reports of infection with E. Coli continued to appear. Friday, health officials have reported that this outbreak of E. Coli is the largest in the last decade. The number of total people who have fallen ill is 197 in 35 states. Almost 89 people had to remain in the hospital.
The first victim was reported in California. On Friday, health officials learned about four other deaths. One was in Arkansas, one was in New York and two in Minnesota.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the first people getting ill after eating romaine lettuce occurred in March, with the most recent starting on 12 May.
The newest cases were of people who became ill 2-3 weeks ago when the contaminated produce was still in stores. Some of the sickened people said that they did not consume tainted lettuce, but they were in close contact with a person that got sick after eating lettuce.
Infection With E. Coli Bacteria Can Sometimes Be Harmful and Even Severe
A majority of E. coli bacteria is harmless, but some of them can cause severe illness, as the produce toxins. Three or four days after swallowing the bacteria, people get sick from the toxin produced by E. coli. Symptoms are bloody diarrhea, vomiting, and severe stomach cramps.
Many people recover in a week, but there are some cases, where the sickness can be more severe and last longer.
Andre Blair s is the lead editor for Advocator.ca. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.) from the School of Public Health, Department of Health Administration, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Andre specializes in environmental health, but writes on a variety of issues.