Seventy-five people have been hospitalized, 20 of whom are battling hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a form kidney failure, in the romaine lettuce E. coli outbreak that has grown to include 172 illnesses in 32 states, according to the latest update from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC.) Health officials say the growing season in Yuma, AZ, where the romaine associated with this outbreak was grown, ended on April 16 and due to its 21-day shelf life, it is unlikely that any remains in stores or restaurants.
HUS is a complication that develops in 5 percent to 10 percent of E. coli patients. Children are especially at risk, particularly those who are 5 and under. Others at high risk for HUS are seniors and those with compromised immune systems. Health officials have not disclosed the age of the patients who have developed HUS but overall, people sickened in this outbreak range in age from 1 to 88 years old. State health departments that have reported HUS cases associated with this outbreak include California with 5 cases and Idaho, Minnesota and Pennsylvania each with 2.
Since the CDC’s last update on May 9, 23 more illnesses from 13 states have been reported. Three states, Iowa, Nebraska, and Oregon, that hadn’t previously reported cases are now part of the outbreak. By state, the case count is as follows: Alaska (8), Arizona (8), California (39), Colorado (3), Connecticut (2), Florida (1), Georgia (4), Idaho (11), Illinois (2), Iowa (1), Kentucky (1), Louisiana (1), Massachusetts (3), Michigan (5), Minnesota (12), Mississippi (1), Missouri (1), Montana (8), Nebraska (1), New Jersey (8), New York (5), North Dakota (2), Ohio (6), Oregon (1), Pennsylvania (21), South Dakota (1), Tennessee (3), Texas (1), Utah (1), Virginia (1), Washington (7), and Wisconsin (3).
Many of those sickened reported eating romaine lettuce at restaurants before they became ill. Lawsuits have been filed against Panera Bread and Red Lobster. The E. coli lawyers at Pritzker Hageman, a national food safety law firm, are representing clients in this outbreak. They have won multiple multi-million dollar settlements for their clients and they don’t get paid unless the win. If you would like to speak with them about an E. coli illness associated with contaminated romaine lettuce, use this online form or call toll-free 1(888) 377-8900. There is no obligation.