Coli Outbreak is "Likely" Leafy Greens While Canada Declares Outbreak Over

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An E. coli outbreak has spread to 15 states, and health experts believe the infections are linked to.

This is about the same timing of an outbreak of E. coli in Canada, which health officials declared over on Wednesday. "Preliminary results show that the type of E. coli making people sick in both countries is closely related genetically, meaning the ill people are more likely to share a common source of infection". Public health officials identified new cases in Pennsylvania, California, Maryland, New Jersey and Indiana. That particular type of lettuce was the source of the Canadian outbreak, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada.

However, officials added: "Leafy greens typically have a short shelf life, and since the last illness started a month ago, it is likely that contaminated leafy greens linked to this outbreak are no longer available for sale".

In the US, the CDC did not make any recommendations to the public about avoiding any foods in its initial December 28, 2017, media statement on the outbreak or in today's update.To date, only half of the USA victims have been interviewed by outbreak investigators. Based on this information, US health officials concluded that ill people in this outbreak were not more likely than healthy people to have eaten romaine lettuce. There has been one death, which was previously reported. The CDC says leafy greens are the likely source. In the United States, there are 24 confirmed victims across 15 states. Five, or 56%, of nine ill persons said they ate romaine lettuce.

Although the most recent illness started on December 12, there is a delay between when someone gets sick and when the illness is reported to CDC. "CDC confirmed the outbreak on December 28 - nearly a month and a half after the first infection", said DeLauro.

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In the USA, the FDA, which had not posted any public information about the outbreak until today, is assisting the CDC, but has virtually nothing to report.

Jean Halloran, director of Food Policy Initiatives at Consumers Union, said it's unclear what steps FDA and CDC are taking in the wake of one of the most serious outbreaks that has occurred in the Trump administration. Illnesses usually begin three to four days after eating food contaminated with this bacteria. "For instance, if the equipment at a processing plant is contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, new product could become a source of further infections".

You can protect yourself by washing your hands thoroughly before and after preparing or eating food.

The CDC suggest paying your doctor a visit if you are going through an episode of severe stomach cramps, diarrhea, vomiting or if you have a high fever. People should also thoroughly wash fresh produce.

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