Coli Outbreak Is Only Getting Worse


Health Canada says that six Canadians have fallen ill due to a strain of E.coli that is linked to romaine lettuce from the Yuma growing regions in the US.

At the moment, it's still unclear whether the Canadians in question picked up the E.Coli in Canada or U.S, as two of the six Canadians traveled to the U.S and ate romaine lettuce there prior to getting infected.

Consumers are still being advised not to eat or buy romaine lettuce unless you can confirm that it did not come from the Yuma growing region.

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The bureau says if it's determined that polluted romaine lettuce is at the Canadian marketplace, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency will remember the merchandise as needed. The number of people sickened in this outbreak has climbed steadily since federal authorities began investigating a month ago, making it the worst since the 2006 baby spinach E. coli outbreak in which 205 people became ill and five of them died.

"Of the 112 people interviewed, 102, or 91%, reported eating romaine lettuce in the week before their illness started", the CDC announced on its website May 9. There has also been one death recorded, in California, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), romaine lettuce has a shelf life of 21 days. They include severe stomach cramps, diarrhea and vomiting.

Besides the death recorded in California, 17 patients have developed a unsafe form of kidney failure, the agency said.

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Most people recover within the first week, according to the CDC, but some infections can be severe.

So far, a total of 149 cases caused by a particularly virulent strain of E. coli O157:H7 have been reported. At this rate, the E. coli outbreak is expected to worsen overtime. Officials are unsure whether the lettuce is being contaminated in the fields, by handlers who harvest the crop, or somewhere in the packaging and shipping process.

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