Coli Outbreak Tied to Leafy Greens Likely Over, CDC Says

Coli Outbreak Tied to Leafy Greens Likely Over, CDC Says

Coli Outbreak Tied to Leafy Greens Likely Over, CDC Says

TLS reports this development came after a phone conversation between Dr. Shanik and another prominent doctor who specializes in infectious diseases, as well as an update from the CDC.

The Public Health Agency of Canada identified romaine lettuce as the source of the outbreak in Canada. The outbreak in late 2017 sickened almost 20 people in the USA and 40 in Canada.

The last reported illness started on 12 December.

The CDC says the likely source of the USA outbreak appears to be leafy greens but it is not recommending Americans avoid any particular food at this time. Consumer Reports recommended that consumers avoid romaine lettuce until the outbreak cause was determined.

The CDC also said that cases have been reported in two more states, Maryland and New Jersey.

Consumer Reports and the Centers of Disease Control reported in the past seven weeks that 58 people have become ill, with five hospitalized and two who died, from E. coli bacteria likely from eating raw romaine lettuce. She said it's still unclear whether FDA is intensifying testing of US and imported products in the wake of Canada's findings. Canada identified romaine lettuce as the source of illnesses there, but the source of the romaine lettuce or where it became contaminated is unknown. The cause of contamination was not identified. The CDC, fifteen states, and the FDA are investigating the outbreak. Of 13 people interviewed, all 13 reported eating leafy greens.


However, James E. Rogers, Ph.D., Director of Food Safety Research and Testing at Consumer Reports, cautions that the CDC's position on this could give consumers a false sense of security. Five, or 56%, of nine ill persons said they ate romaine lettuce. "Right now the CDC is saying it could be other leafy greens, but until we have more corroborating evidence, we continue to think it prudent to avoid romaine lettuce for now".

But U.S. health authorities have said it's too early to blame leafy greens as the probe continues. Holidays can increase this delay. Because of these reporting delays, more time is needed before CDC can say the outbreak in the United Stated is over. This investigation is ongoing.

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.

Symptoms of E.coli usually start within three to 10 days after consumption.

Outbreaks of toxin-producing E. coli are more typically linked to beef as the bacteria can get into the meat during slaughter and processing, especially ground beef, but infections from produce are not unheard of. People should also thoroughly wash fresh produce.

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