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Colony of Escherichia coli in culture medium plate

CDC Investigates E-Coli Outbreak - Linked to Romaine Lettuce

At least 36 people in 11 states have become ill due to this outbreak, including Missouri and Illinois.

April 13, 2018 - 9:54 am

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - Chopped romaine lettuce appears to be the cause of a multi-state outbreak of e-coli infections.
The CDC says dozens of e-coli cases appear to be linked to chopped romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Arizona, growing region.  

Divya Little is with the Illinois Department of Public Health -- she says if you have any chopped romaine lettuce in your refrigerator, you need to throw it away immediately, even if you've been eating it and haven't gotten sick.

"The onset days can be between 2 and 8 days, so there's no telling whether you might get sick in the future," she says.

Restaurants and grocery stores also need throw away any packaged, chopped romaine lettuce in stock from the Yuma growing region.

Going out to eat or to the grocery store? Confirm that the romaine lettuce you're buying isn't from that region -- if you're not able to confirm that, do not buy it or consume it, Little says.
At least 36 people in 11 states have become ill due to this outbreak, including Missouri and Illinois.

Previous reporting:

The CDC is investigating an e-coli outbreak in seven states -- including Missouri. 

So far, 17 people have gotten sick in Washington, Idaho, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Missouri, where 1 has fallen ill. 

The CDC has no idea what food item is to blame. 

“Unfortunately, we don’t have a lot of information, and I don’t think that the CDC likes to speculate because it can cause unnecessary panic,” says SLU Care infectious diseases specialist Dr. Nirav Patel. “In this kind of situation it’s most important to try to trace back to a single source or a single cause of where this type of outbreak is coming from."

Patel says the best way to prevent infection is practicing good hand hygiene, washing fruits and vegetables, cooking meat thoroughly, and avoiding cross-contamination with cooking utensils or surfaces.