I have spoken to and been retained by, people in Idaho, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. Also, I have spoken to people in California and Utah that also may be linked to the outbreak.
On Friday, according to the CDC, as of April 12, 2018, 35 people infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 have been reported from 11 states. Connecticut 2, Idaho 8, Illinois 1, Michigan 1, Missouri 1, New Jersey 7, New York 2, Ohio 2, Pennsylvania 9, Virginia 1 and Washington 1. Illnesses started on dates ranging from March 22, 2018 to March 31, 2018. Ill people range in age from 12 to 84 years, with a median age of 29. Sixty-nine percent of ill people are female. Twenty-two ill people have been hospitalized, including three people who developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure.
Today the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) is advising residents to not eat and dispose of store-bought chopped romaine lettuce, including salads and salad mixes containing chopped romaine lettuce. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration indicated a multi-state outbreak of E. coli O157 is likely associated with chopped romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Arizona growing region. Three cases of E. coli in Arizona have been linked to this multistate outbreak.
Also, today the Montana Department of Health announced that there has been an increase in reports of STEC O157 cases in Montana, with onset dates between 3/28 and 4/7. These cases are linked to a multi-state outbreak of STEC O157 sickening at least 29 individuals in 11 states. This total includes three confirmed STEC O157 cases (2 in Missoula, 1 in Ravalli) with patterns matching the national outbreak strain. An additional five PCR positive cases are pending culture confirmation with the state laboratory (3 in Flathead, 1 in Lincoln, and 1 in Gallatin). Further analysis will be needed to determine if they part of the outbreak. Please see the information below for recommendations.
According to the CDC, epidemiologic evidence collected to date indicates that chopped romaine lettuce is the likely source of this outbreak. Most people reported eating a salad at a restaurant, and romaine lettuce was the only common ingredient identified among the salads eaten. The restaurants reported using bagged, chopped romaine lettuce to make salads.
Traceback investigations are ongoing to determine the source of chopped romaine lettuce supplied to restaurant locations where ill people ate. At this time, no common grower, supplier, distributor, or brand has been identified. However, preliminary information indicates that the chopped romaine lettuce was from the Yuma, Arizona growing region. Information collected to date indicates that chopped romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Arizona growing region could be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7 and could make people sick.