E. Coli O157:H7 in Lettuce Update as of May 16, 2018Jenny Abercrombie
IN THE NEWS
E. Coli O157:H7 in Lettuce Update as of May 16, 2018
The last update from the CDC on the E. Coli contamination of Romaine Lettuce was posted on 5/16/18 and contained an update of cases and states reported through 5/15/18.
To date, there are 172 cases of E Coli O157:H7 in 32 states. Of the 157 cases with known information, there have been 75 hospitalizations (48%), 20 cases of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), and one (1) death in California. Reported illnesses fall between March 13, 2018 and May 5, 2018. Since there is a 2-3-week lag time between infection of an individual to when the case is reported, these numbers may not include all cases that occurred after April 21.
The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) reported on May 9, 2018, that there are six (6) Canadians from four different Provinces (Ontario, Saskatchewan, British Columbia and Alberta) with E. Coli O157:H7 that is genetically like the current E. Coli outbreak in the United States. The Canadian cases fall into date range of late March through the middle of April. Two of the Canadian’s reported eating romaine lettuce while traveling in the United States; three report eating romaine either at home or in prepared salads in grocery stores or restaurants, and the remaining case is still being investigated. One person was hospitalized but it is reported that all have recovered from their illnesses. Canada reports that if they are selling contaminated lettuce in their country, it will be recalled. Otherwise, those that are traveling to the US or travel over the border to grocery shop, should follow current CDC advice. This remains the latest report from Public Officials in Canada.
Although 32 states have recorded cases, all the states except the following, have only 1-3 cases each. Those with more than 3 cases include Alaska (8), Arizona (8), California (39), Georgia (4), Idaho (11), Michigan (5), Minnesota (12), Montana (8), New Jersey (8), New York (5), Ohio (6), Pennsylvania (21), and Washington (7). Iowa, Nebraska, and Oregon are the new states reporting cases.
For a map of affected states and case counts by state see:
The CDC is updating its advice to consumers and has announced that the FDA has reported, “The last shipments of romaine lettuce from the Yuma growing region were harvested on April 16, 2018 and the harvest season is over. It is unlikely that any romaine lettuce from the Yuma growing region is still available in stores or restaurants dur to its 21-day shelf life.” The lag time between illness and reporting to Public Health is 2 to 3 weeks, so there may still be new case reports added.
For a summary of information about E. Coli symptoms, HUS, and incubations periods, check the FirstWatch HIP for the 4/15/18 Outbreak Announcement or find more complete info on the website links below.
For more details on E Coli and this outbreak, please see the links to the CDC and FDA: