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Aberdeen, WA
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Epi News

Health Advisory: Outbreak of E. coli infections linked to romaine lettuce

Brianne Probasco

CDC is advising U.S. consumers to not eat any romaine lettuce, and retailers and restaurants not serve or sell any, until more is learned about the outbreak.  This investigation is ongoing and the advice will be updated as more information is available.

 · Thirty-two people infected with the outbreak strain of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O157:H7 have been reported. Currently there are no cases in WA State.

· Illnesses started on dates ranging from October 8 to October 31, 2018.

· Thirteen people were hospitalized, including one person who developed hemolytic uremic syndrome. No deaths have been reported.

· Consumers who have any type of romaine lettuce in their home should not eat it and should throw it away, even if some of it was eaten and no one has gotten sick. 

 Advice to Clinicians

· Antibiotics are not recommended (https://www.cdc.gov/ecoli/clinicians.html) for patients with E. coli O157 infections. Antibiotics are also not recommended for patients whom E. coli O157 infection is suspected, until diagnostic testing rules out this infection.

· Some studies have shown that administering antibiotics to patients with E. coli O157 infections might increase their risk of developing hemolytic syndrome, and the benefit of the antibiotic treatment has not been clearly demonstrated.

 For questions or further information contact Lisa Leitz RN, Communicable Disease Program Coordinator at (360)500-4044 or lleitz@co.grays-harbor.wa.us or our main line at (360)532-8631.


EPI NEWS is faxed to healthcare offices during events of public health significance.  Please share or post so that others may see this.  Sign up for Epi News by email at:  lleitz@co.grays-harbor.wa.us.

Health Alert: Immediate action needed
Health Update: Updated information on Alert or Advisory

Health Advisory: May require immediate action
Info Service: Not of an emergent nature