Coli fears reported in US, Canada

12 January, 2018, 06:19 | Author: Tina Rodriquez
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There's new information on the deadly E. coli outbreak that News 10 has been tracking that could be linked to romaine lettuce. CDC health officials are investigating the outbreaks but have stopped short of recommending people avoid romaine lettuce or any other food.

The CDC did whole genome sequencing on the bacteria that caused the outbreak and found they were genetically similar to those implicated in a similar outbreak in Canada.

The CDC and the Food and Drug Administration are trying to pinpoint the exact region of where the strain of E.coli is coming from and if romaine lettuce is the source.

"Leafy greens typically have a short-shelf life and, since the last illness started a month ago, it is likely that contaminated leafy greens linked to this outbreak are no longer available for sale", the CDC said. Because of this, the CDC is not recommending that USA residents avoid any type of particular food.

By Dec. 28, there were more than 40 cases under investigation in Canada and one reported death.

On the same day, CDC announced the E. coli strains appeared related but would not identify a source of the infections.




In a January 8 letter to CDC Director Brenda Fitzgerald, DeLauro didn't mince words: "CDC's stunning lack of guidance to consumers regarding this outbreak is unconscionable".

"People in these groups should be particularly vigilant about avoiding romaine lettuce", Rogers said.

"State and local public health officials continue to interview sick people in the United States to determine what they ate in the week before their illness started".

US officials are continuing their investigation. The outbreak in late 2017 sickened almost 20 people in the USA and 40 in Canada. For STEC O157:H7 infections, this period can be two to three weeks. Because of these reporting delays, more time is needed before CDC can say the outbreak in the United Stated is over.

The CDC suggest paying your doctor a visit if you are going through an episode of severe stomach cramps, diarrhea, vomiting or if you have a high fever. "For instance, if the equipment at a processing plant is contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, new product could become a source of further infections". "The bacteria can also be transmitted if a person who is carrying the bacteria doesn't wash his or her hands after using the bathroom and then processes or prepares food".

There were 42 cases of E. coli illness in the affected provinces, including 13 in Newfoundland and Labrador.

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