Michigan health officials are investigating a surge in E. coli infections including dozens of cases that are part of a multistate E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce on Wendy’s hamburgers and sandwiches. Since late July, at least 115 illnesses including several hospitalizations have been reported throughout the state.
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As of August 25, 53 of those illnesses had been linked to the Wendy’s E. coli outbreak. Thirty-one people have been hospitalized, almost twice the average hospitalization rate. Eight people have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a form of kidney failure.
HUS is a life-threatening complication that affects between 5 percent and 10 percent of E. coli patients, most often children under 5. People with E. coli infections should not be given antibiotics as it increases the risk of developing HUS.
Treatment for HUS includes dialysis, blood transfusions, plasma exchange, and kidney transplant. HUS symptoms usually develop a week after initial E. coli symptoms. Anyone who develops HUS symptoms should seek immediate emergency care. HUS symptoms include:
- Pale skin
- Unexplained bruising
- Extreme fatigue
- Decreased urination
- Bloody diarrhea
- Shortness of breath
- Swelling in legs, feet, or ankles
- Bleeding from the nose or mouth
According to the state health department, Michigan E. coli infections have been reported from 18 jurisdictions: Allegan, Branch, Clinton, Genesee, Gratiot, Jackson, Kent, Macomb, Midland, Monroe, Muskegon, Oakland, Ogemaw, Ottawa, Saginaw, Washtenaw, and Wayne and the City of Detroit.
The multistate E. coli outbreak includes cases in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, and Pennsylvania. Wendy’s has stopped serving the romaine lettuce it uses for sandwiches. The fast food chain uses a different kind of romaine lettuce for its salads.
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The E. coli lawyers at Pritzker Hageman have represented clients in every major E. coli outbreak in the U.S. If you would like to request a free consultation with our experienced E. coli Team, please call us at 1-888-377-8900, text us at 612-261-0856 or, fill out the form below.