CASPER, Wyo. — An outbreak of a strain of E. coli has infected at least 102 people.
The source of the outbreak is likely romaine lettuce grown in Salinas, California, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Since the previous update on November 26, an additional 35 ill people have been reported,” the CDC said on Wednesday, Dec. 4. “As of December 2, 2019, a total of 102 people infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli have been reported from 23 states. A list of the states and the number of cases in each can be found on the Map of Reported Cases page.“
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Reports of illness date back to Sept. 24.
“Ill people range in age from less than 1 to 89 years, with a median age of 25,” the CDC adds. “Sixty-five percent of ill people are female. Of 98 ill people with information available, 58 hospitalizations have been reported, including 10 people who developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure. No deaths have been reported.”
The link to the lettuce grown in Salinas is based on epidemiologic, laboratory and traceback evidence.
“[The United States Food and Drug Administration] and states continue to trace the source of the romaine lettuce eaten by ill people,” the CDC adds. “Preliminary information indicates that some of the ill people ate lettuce grown in Salinas, California. No common grower, supplier, distributor, or brand of romaine lettuce has been identified.”
People are encouraged not to consume any romaine lettuce products grown in Salinas. Retailers are discouraged from selling any such products.
“The investigation is ongoing to determine the source of contamination and if additional products are linked to illness,” the CDC says. “This outbreak is caused by the same strain of E. coli O157:H7 that caused outbreaks linked to leafy greens in 2017 and to romaine lettuce in 2018.”