Yuma E. Coli Outbreak More Virulent Than Most, CDC Says

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The growing season for lettuce is over in Yuma but the FDA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said they could not guarantee that the outbreak has ended.

To date, 22 states have been affected.

Tests have confirmed that the strain of Escherichia coli O157:H7 bacteria in the current outbreak produces a type of toxin that causes more severe illness.

The FDA said all romaine from Harrison Farms was harvested from Mar 5 to Mar 16 and is past its 21-day shelf life. Most people recover from the infection within one week.

Attorney Brendan Flaherty, who is representing clients sickened in this outbreak, said, "Everyone should know the symptoms of an E. coli infection".

We'll update this article with more information as it becomes available, but today's CDC update is a reminder: Stay away from romaine lettuce.

However, the search for the exact source of the outbreak is continuing, and dozens of farms are being investigated.

Dr. Fertel said neither antibiotics nor anti-diarrheal medications are recommended for treatment of E.coli O157, as both could potentially lead to increased complications with the kidneys.

" We are examining lots of other fields as prospective sources of the [polluted] sliced Romaine lettuce", Harris stated. Some of its types are pathogenic that can cause illness through exposure to contaminated food or water, or contact with animals or other people.

The outbreak has been blamed on E. coli bacteria in romaine lettuce grown in Yuma, Ariz.

A water jet harvester works rows of romaine lettuce near Soledad, California, May 3, 2017.

The CDC says people usually get sick from Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) 2-8 days (average of 3-4 days) after swallowing the germ.

So far, illnesses include 18 cases in Pennsylvania, 16 cases in California, 10 in Idaho, eight cases each in Alaska and Montana, seven in New Jersey, five cases each in Arizona and Washington, three cases each in MI and OH, two cases each in Colorado, Connecticut and NY, and a single case each in Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia and Wisconsin. OH had three confirmed cases, while Colorado, Connecticut, Michigan, New York, and Washington each had two people sick. Some indicators that people have E. coli include vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach cramps. Ten people have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, including three children.