BOISE, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare reports eight Idahoans have become ill from eating romaine lettuce believed to have been grown in the Yuma, Arizona area. A national outbreak of E. coli infections has affected at least 10 other states.
Three of the eight people infected have been hospitalized and two have developed kidney failure related to the E. coli infection. All of those hospitalized were between the ages of 20 and 55. There have been no deaths related to the outbreak.
According to the health department, initial investigations by the Centers for Disease Control and public health officials indicate that chopped romaine lettuce from the Yuma growing region could be contaminated with E. coli 0157:H7 may be causing the illness.
The chopped lettuce has been consumed at restaurants and people's homes. It is sold in restaurants, delis, supermarkets, and specialty food stores across Idaho. Health officials are advising against eating pre-chopped romaine lettuce from that region until further information is available. People who have the lettuce from Yuma or other unknown source should throw it out, even if they have already eaten some and did not become ill.
This type of E. coli bacteria can cause bloody diarrhea, severe abdominal cramps, vomiting, and low-grade fever.
Most people recover from the infection in 5 to 7 days, but for some, the infection can be severe and life-threatening. Those at particular risk include very young children and the elderly.
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