There has been at least one E. coli outbreak in the Midwest, affecting at least 37 people; the CDC is looking into whether or not romaine lettuce from Wendy’s restaurants is to blame.
People usually get better from E. coli without medical care and aren’t tested, so the real number of cases is probably higher. However, ten of the confirmed cases necessitated hospitalization, and the bacteria can lead to kidney failure.
Though the CDC claims it has yet to determine a cause for the outbreak, as of August 19, 22 people who fell ill reported eating at Wendy’s restaurants in Michigan, Ohio, or Pennsylvania during the week prior to their illness. The CDC noted that many of these people reported eating burgers or sandwiches that included romaine lettuce, prompting Wendy’s to pull the lettuce from its menus in the affected area as a precaution.
The ages of those affected by the outbreak range from 6 to 91, with the median being 21.
E. coli is a common cause of stomach pain, nausea, and diarrhea. Diarrhea that lasts more than 3 days, is bloody, or is accompanied by a temperature higher than 102 degrees warrants a visit to the doctor. If they are vomiting so much that they can’t keep fluids down, or if they are showing signs of dehydration, they should also see a doctor.
More than 200 people became ill during a nationwide 2018 E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce. Sadly, five of them perished.
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