Popular Fast Food Chain May Be Linked to Multistate E. Coli Outbreak
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), authorities are actively monitoring a multistate outbreak of E. coli which has led to hospitalizations and even kidney failure in some people.
To date, 37 people have reported severe illness due to an outbreak strain of E. coli 0157 in Indiana (one person), Michigan (15 people), Ohio (19 people), and Pennsylvania (two people).
Ten of the individuals have become sick enough to need hospitalization while three people in Michigan have experienced a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome. So far, and thankfully, no deaths have been reported.
While no specific food has been confirmed to be the source of the E. coli outbreak, most of the people who have become sick report that they ate sandwiches from the fast food restaurant Wendy's which contained romaine lettuce just before they became sick.
86 percent of the people who are ill with E. coli say they ate at a Wendy's restaurant just before they began to experience symptoms of illness.
The CDC says that due to the large number of people reporting having eaten in their restaurant just before getting sick has led the fast food chain to take extra precautionary measures by removing the romaine lettuce used in its sandwiches in the regions in which people have become sick.
The CDC is NOT advising people to avoid eating at Wendy's or to stop eating romaine lettuce. The CDC also notes that there is absolutely no evidence that romance lettuce sold or served at Wendy's or anywhere else for that matter is linked to this multistate outbreak.
Investigators from the CDC are still working to confirm whether or not romaine lettuce is even the culprit in this situation.
Anyone experiencing symptoms of E. coli, whether they've recently eaten at a restaurant or not, should immediately contact a healthcare provider. Symptoms of E. coli include diarrhea that lasts for more than 3 days or diarrhea that is accompanied by a fever higher than 102˚F, bloody diarrhea, or so much vomiting that you are unable to keep down liquids and you are not urinating as frequently as you should be.
If you have symptoms of E. coli, you can help the CDC by writing down, to the best of your memory, everything you ate in the week leading to becoming ill including where you ate if it was at a location other than your home. You should also report that you have contracted E. coli to your local or state health department and also answer any questions asked to you by public health officials.
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