One Ottawa resident suffering with E. coli infection, linked to outbreak

Investigators who are trying to track down the source of E. coli in romaine lettuce have seen this before. They're tracking the exact strain of bacteria that caused a small outbreak a year ago

Residents are being asked to avoid consuming romaine lettuce until the outbreak is contained.

It can take a week for symptoms to appear in some cases and by then, asking someone to recall everything they ate the week before might be hard and thus, impact a health agency's comfort in taking action against a particular source of the outbreak, Neumann said.

That's because the CDC is investigating yet another risky E. coli outbreak linked to it.

Jewel-Osco and Mariano's are removing all romaine and products containing romaine from their shelves, and they are offering full refunds to customers who return romaine products purchased at the grocery chains.

The agency is working with the U.S. FDA to determine the source of the romaine lettuce that the ill individuals were exposed to.

The blanket warning to nix all romaine until further notice is frustrating to hydroponic growers like Gotham Greens, which grows, harvests and packs a variety of lettuces, including romaine, in controlled greenhouses in NY and Chicago.

"As soon as I heard on the news yesterday, I threw everything in the trash that had romaine lettuce - salads, romaine itself", said Mike Fisayo, manager of Chicago's South Loop Market.

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They continued by saying that laboratory analysis has indicated that the illnesses reported in this outbreak are "genetically related" to illnesses reported in an outbreak of E coli in December 2017, which affected both Canada and the U.S. Some cases can become severe enough to pose life-threatening conditions, with the elderly, young and those with weakened immune systems particularly vulnerable. Those most at risk for developing complications are pregnant women, people with weakened immune systems, young children and seniors.

Some people can be infected with E. coli without symptoms but still spread the infection to others, the agency said.

According to CNN, the CDC has conducted more investigations in 2018 than in any of the last ten years.

Antibiotics are not recommended for patients with E. coli O157 infections.

"They can actually do more harm than good", said Bogoch. Contamination of vegetables and fruit can occur when they come in contact with animal feces.

Under normal circumstances, health officials often advise people to throw away the outer leaves of romaine lettuce and wash the rest. "Most of the romaine lettuce being harvested right now is coming from the California region, although there's some lettuce coming in from Mexico".

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