Coli Outbreak Impacts 19 States, Including Ohio

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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that three more states - Colorado, Georgia and South Dakota - have been hit by the outbreak, bringing the total number of affected states to 19.

The three people sick in Placer County say they started experiencing symptoms during the second week of April. 53 people have been infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli in 16 states since March 13, the CDC said.

From this information, CDC is advising consumers to not eat or buy romaine lettuce unless they can confirm it is not from the Yuma, Arizona, growing region and is advising restaurants and retailers to not serve or sell any romaine lettuce from that area. There have been no reported deaths.

Meijer initially pulled all its romaine products originating from the Yuma region - not just the chopped varieties health officials first warned about, but whole heads, hearts and mixes, Guglielmi said. The CDC also expanded its warning to cover all types of romaine lettuce grown in Yuma.

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CDC information collected to date indicates that romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Ariz., growing region could be contaminated, but the investigation has not identified a common grower, supplier, distributor, or brand of romaine lettuce.

But what had health officials so concerned is that there "is a higher hospitalization rate than usual for E. coli O157:H7 infections, which is usually around 30 percent". "Health officials are working to determine why this strain is causing a higher percentage of hospitalizations", the agency said in a statement.

At least 50,000 acres worth of lettuce, including romaine, comes straight from Yuma, Arizona. Half were hospitalized, including nine with kidney failure. "There are several growing regions for romaine, and numerous same brands source from multiple regions".

"They get bloody diarrhea, stomach cramps and their illness typically lasts about a week", Dr. Gieraltowski said.

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