Investigators Trace E. Coli Outbreak to Lettuce from Arizona

It was reported last week that an E. Coli outbreak that has sickened at least 19 people, including three with life-threatening illnesses, has been traced to lettuce sold by a farm in Arizona. That determination has resulted in a recall of romaine lettuce sold in 23 states under the Freshway and Imperial Sysco brands.

The strain of E. Coli implicated in the outbreak was 0145, as opposed to the more common strain found in U.S. patients, which is E. coli O157. The latter is more easily identified.

E. coli infection can cause mild diarrhea or more severe complications, including kidney damage. The three patients with life-threatening symptoms were diagnosed with hemolytic uremic syndrome, which can cause bleeding in the brain or kidneys.

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