E.Coli, California

The outbreak of E.coli contaminated romaine lettuce has taken its first fatality in California. The name of the person is not known but the death confirms it, and about 121 people are now ill in about 25 states as per US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday.

According to health officials, the contamination has been due to the infected romaine lettuce which is grown in the area which is around Yuma, Ariz. The area which increases about 90 percent of the nation’s lettuce and now it has stopped the growth of winter crop.

As per recent CDC update, which was out on Friday, there is an increase of about 23 people in three states namely Kentucky, Massachusetts, and Utah. The increase in numbers every week are now heading towards breaking the number of205  people who got sick due to this in the year 2006.

The strain which is present in the E.coli is producing a toxin which causes vomiting and diarrhoea and other symptoms of kidney failure. 52 people are hospitalised due to this and 14 of them have kidney failure.  The bacteria which cause this usually live in the intestine of animals like cows and pigs.

CDC said in a statement that whole head romaine lettuce which comes from the Harrison Farms located near Yuma had caused illness to eight prisoners in Nome, Ala detention facility. The FDA is now examining all the possibilities which include contamination that may occur during the growing, harvesting, packaging and distribution chain. Officials said that there is no recall as the lettuce was harvested in between March 5 -16 and presently no more lettuce is being grown on Harrison’s fields.  More cases can come in the future as per CDC.

The strain of E.coli has identified to produce string versions of Shiga toxins which are bind to blood cells and can destroy the organ linings. This outbreak is said to be the worst outbreak since 2006.  CDC reports that the hospitalisation rate is far high than usual price.

California is now leading the infected rate with 24 cases, Pennsylvania with 20 and Idaho with 11. The most recent example was reported on April 21st, 2018.CDC is giving emphasis and asking consumers should confirm any lettuce that they buy or eat is not from Yuma region. This includes all the romaine forms including romaine salad mix.


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