Health officials are investing in a diverse outbreak of E. coli infection that has left at least 23 people sick. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are not recommending people to avoid any particular foods at this time because they have not yet discovered what is making people sick.
Diseases have been reported in California, Washington State, Utah, North Dakota, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Tennessee, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Kansas and North Dakota reported the most cases, with at least four people getting sick in each state.
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The CDC says the authorities have interviewed 13 people so far, and they all said they ate a variety of greens like iceberg lettuce, romaine lettuce, mixed bag lettuce and spinach.
The illnesses originated on August 17 and were reported until October 8. Affected consumers were between the ages of 5 and 81 years, with 67% of those affected were female. At least 10 cases require hospitalization, including two people developing hemolytic urea syndrome, a form of kidney failure. No deaths have been reported to date.
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E. coli typically cause illness within two to eight days after eating a contaminated product and is usually diagnosed through a stool sample. Symptoms may include stomach cramps, diarrhea, and vomiting. Others may have a fever. While the infection can be very mild, others can develop into serious illness or life-threatening situations.
The CDC recommends that you contact your healthcare provider if you have diarrhea that lasts more than three days or have blood in your stool, or are vomiting too much.
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Ways to prevent E.coli infection include frequent hand washing after using the toilet or changing diapers, before and after preparing or eating food, and after handling animals. Thoroughly cooking meats can also kill bacteria and avoid cross-contamination during food preparation. Also wash fruit and vegetables and avoid unpasteurized milk or other dairy products and unpasteurized fruit juices.