E. coli outbreak in Georgia too: Don’t eat romaine lettuce.

Romaine lettuce contaminated with E. coli is making people in the U.S. sick with diarrhea, stomach cramps and vomiting. A death occurred in California. And Georgia is among the states affected.

The Georgia Department of Public Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advise consumers to not to eat or buy romaine lettuce that is from the Yuma, Arizona growing region where the outbreak originated.

Don’t take chances; if you are not sure what romaine lettuce is or what it looks like, do not eat it. If you don’t know where it was grown, do not eat it.

Most people infected with E. coli develop diarrhea that may be bloody, severe stomach cramps and vomiting. The infection usually lasts about a week. More severe E. coli infection may cause kidney failure.

If you have symptoms of an E. coli infection:

Talk to your healthcare provider.
Write down what you ate in the week before you started to get sick.
Report your illness to the health department.
Assist public health investigators by answering questions about your illness.

This particular strain of E. coli has resulted in more hospitalizations than we would normally expect with this type of outbreak,” said Cherie Drenzek, DVM, state epidemiologist. “It is crucial that the public understands how serious E. coli infections can be, and to heed all recommended precautions about avoiding romaine lettuce.”

Escherichia coli, or “E. coli,” is bacteria that normally lives in the intestines of humans and other animals. Human or animal waste is the ultimate source of contamination

Romaine lettuce E. coli prevention:

Avoid all romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Arizona growing region, including whole heads and hearts of romaine, chopped romaine and salads and salad mixes containing romaine lettuce.

Understand that product labels often do not identify growing regions; do not eat or buy romaine lettuce it if you do not know where it was grown.

Don’t take chances; if you are not sure what romaine lettuce is or what it looks like, do not eat it.

Washing lettuce will not necessarily eliminate E. coli. The bacteria can stick to leafy surfaces or hide in microscopic crevices.

Contact your health care provider if you have diarrhea that lasts for more than three days or is accompanied by high fever, blood in the stool, or so much vomiting that you cannot keep liquids down and you pass very little urine.

For more information visit cdc.gov/ecoli/2018/o157h7-04-18/signs-symptoms.html.

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