Medicine

CDC: Canal Water Started the Yuma-linked E. coli Outbreak

CDC: Canal Water Started the Yuma-linked E. coli Outbreak

According to the Food and Drug Adminitsration (FDA), the last shipments of romaine lettuce from the Yuma growing region were harvested on April 16, 2018, and the harvest season there has ended.

Yuma-sourced romaine is no longer in the marketplace. Although the FDA did not name the canal where the positive E. coli O157:H7 samples were drawn, the location of the canal to Harrison Farms in more than coincidental. It's the worst outbreak of E. coli 0157:H7 since a 2006 outbreak linked to spinach. "(Whole genome sequencing) showed that the E. Coli O157:H7 found in the canal water is closely related genetically to the E. coli O157:H7 from ill people.

The FDA, the CDC, and Arizona state officials continue to analyze samples from the Yuma region collected in early June and initial results are starting to become available. Of those who endured hospitalizations, 27 developed a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome. Health officials are now trying to figure out how the bacteria got there, they believe it may have been spread there from cattle contact in a nearby stream.

Citing the CDC's analysis of water samples that were taken from a canal in the Yuma region, the FDA says the investigation found E. coli in the water "with the same genetic finger print as the outbreak strain".

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Consumer Reports' food safety director Dr. James E. Rogers told The Daily Meal, "The industry is aware this is a huge issue and that they need to do something about it".

As of Wednesday, more than 1,500 people who'd had contact with confirmed or probable Ebola patients had been followed for 21 days and had no Ebola symptoms, the World Health Organization said. But no other farm, processing center, or distributor was ever identified in this outbreak.

The traceback investigation indicates that the illnesses associated with this outbreak can not be explained by a single grower, harvester, processor, or distributor. Five people died from the outbreak strain. Other kinds of E. coli cause urinary tract infections, respiratory illness and pneumonia. "The lettuce has a 21-day shelf life, which did help limit the case count".


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