Coli outbreak tied to romaine lettuce is largest since 2006

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Mississippi, Tennessee and Wisconsin were added Friday to the states with reported food poisoning cases.

People who have become sick with E. coli will begin to feel the symptoms between two and eight days after consumption of the contaminated food.

So far, 46 people have been hospitalized, including 10 with kidney failure from this breakout.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said today that 14 more cases have been reported, pushing the national total to 98 cases. While no deaths have been reported, the CDC also advised the public that more cases-and increased severity-could be later reported as more and more patients flock to local hospitals.

Do not eat or buy romaine lettuce unless you can confirm it is not from the Yuma, Arizona, growing region.

The CDC warns people not to eat any form of romaine lettuce from Yuma area.

"The FDA recommends that consumers ask grocers, restaurants, and other food service establishments where their romaine lettuce originated, and avoid any romaine lettuce, whether chopped, whole head or hearts, that originated from the Yuma growing region".

This is the most significant Shiga-toxin producing E.coli break out considering that a 2006 break out connected to spinach grown in the Salinas Valley in California, Wise stated.

Most infections are mild and the majority of people recover within a week, however some cases can be life-threatening. Experts have not located the farm or farms responsible for the majority of cases, and don't know if the contamination occurred during the harvesting, packaging, or distribution of the lettuce. Early symptoms may include bloody diarrhea, fever, nausea and vomiting.

At this time of year, lettuce from both parts of the country may be on grocery store shelves or restaurant plates. By April 10, the CDC had issued its first announcement about the E. coli illness outbreak.

Tests have confirmed that the strain of Escherichia coli O157:H7 bacteria in the current outbreak produces a type of toxin that causes more severe illness.

To date, Marler Clark, the food safety law firm, has been contacted by over 50 people, 7 of whom have contracted HUS. The next day, Halley went to the pediatrician's office and remembers being told that this unsafe E. coli strain could affect her daughter's kidneys. If it was grown in Yuma or if the origin can't be determined, throw it away, health officials recommend.

Stic Harris, director of the FDA's Coordinated Outbreak Response and Evaluation Network, said his agency is working with the the CDC to identify the channels that enabled the outbreak. "We are investigating dozens of other sources of the chopped romaine lettuce".

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