Coli outbreak in 11 states linked to romaine lettuce spreads to Idaho

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So far, six of the victims have been hospitalized, with only one developing severe complications - hemolytic uremic syndrome and kidney failure.

The industry groups said almost all of the romaine lettuce now being harvested and shipped throughout the United States is from California growing areas and those are not implicated in the outbreak. However, preliminary information indicates that the chopped romaine lettuce was from the Yuma, Arizona growing region.

The CDC says the outbreak was likely caused by romaine lettuce from Yuma County, Arizona.

However, CDC said Tuesday that it was not recommending consumers avoid any particular food and that restaurants and retailers were not advised to avoid serving or selling any particular food. Most people reported eating a salad at a restaurant and romaine lettuce was the only common ingredient identified among the salads eaten.

Symptoms of E. coli infection include diarrhea, severe stomach cramps and vomiting.

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Health experts are holding their breath in the midst of a unsafe food-borne bacterial outbreak that has sickened many people but so far has not caused any deaths.

Those affected range in age from 12 to 84 and 64 percent of the patients are women.

Four E. coli cases have been reported in Hunterdon County, New Jersey and one each in Monmouth, Sussex and Somerset counties. The hardest-hit state is New Jersey, with 6 cases that led to an investigation of Panera Bread. Officials advise against eating chopped lettuce from Yuma until more information is known.

You can get sick from E. coli two to eight days after swallowing the germ.

"Illnesses reported by investigators in New Jersey also included ill people who had a diagnostic test showing they were infected with E. coli bacteria", the CDC reports in an April 10 news release. The Illinois resident reported consuming chopped romaine lettuce before illness onset, in central Illinois. Sometimes the food source associated with illness is never determined'.

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