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E.Coli Outbreak Reaches 25 States, Kills One

Posted on in Food Poisoning

E.Coli Outbreak Reaches 25 States, Kills One

An E.Coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce grown in the Yuma region of Arizona has been making its way across the United States for more than two months now. The last time we discussed this outbreak, 98 people in 22 states had fallen ill and no deaths had been reported. Now, the illness count is up to 121, illnesses have been reported in 25 states, and one person has died. That person was in California.

Although food poisoning is usually a minor issue, it can be deadly. Certain food-related illnesses are more likely to be deadly than others, but all can potentially lead to complications that put the victim at risk of suffering worsened symptoms and death.

How E.Coli Kills Victims

There are numerous strains of E.Coli, some of which are more dangerous to humans than others. What caused this outbreak to be so harmful to victims is the strain being transmitted through the contaminated lettuce. This strain is known as shiga toxin-producing E.Coli (STEC). The bacteria produces a specific toxin, Shiga, that causes victims to suffer the following symptoms:

  • Diarrhea;
  • Vomiting; and
  • Stomach cramps.

Although most individuals recover from Shiga poisoning within a week or so, the illness can progress to hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a serious illness of the kidneys. Individuals suffering from this illness can require dialysis, IV fluid replacement, and blood and platelet transfusions. When HUS is left untreated or treatment comes too late, the victim can die from kidney failure.

Protect Yourself and Your Family from E.Coli Harm

The most effective way to protect yourself and your family from E.Coli's harmful effects is to avoid consuming the harmful bacteria. Keep yourself informed of all outbreaks in your region and avoid foods named as potential risks.

Additionally, wash your hands thoroughly before eating. Always make sure you do this and when you cannot, use anti-bacterial gel on your hands before you eat. Cook all meats thoroughly, wash all fruits and vegetables before cooking, and avoid cooking when you are sick. Steer clear of raw milk and products made with raw milk, because raw milk can carry E.Coli and other harmful pathogens.

When you recognize one or more of the symptoms of E.Coli poisoning, take time to rest and be sure to consume a sufficient amount of fluids. If your symptoms do not subside within a few days, seek medical attention. Do not simply ignore your symptoms and wait for them to go away; if you need medical care, get it.

Work With an Experienced Palatine Food Poisoning Lawyer

If you or your child experienced financial damages related to an E.Coli illness that could have been prevented through greater care on another party's part, contact our team of experienced food poisoning lawyers at Newland & Newland, LLP today to discuss your case during your legal consultation with us. We can answer your questions and help you develop a solid personal injury claim. We serve clients in the Arlington Heights, Palatine, Rolling Meadows, Libertyville, Mundelein, Buffalo Grove, Schaumburg, Elk Grove, and Itasca areas.

(image courtesy of Petra Cigale)

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