A statement was released from Dr. Matthew Cartter from Connecticut Department of Public Health, which said in part, "We are assisting the CDC in investigating a multi-state outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 infections". They should also track the foods they've eaten and restaurants they've eaten in the week prior to becoming ill. Three people were hospitalized, and two have developed kidney failure linked to the E. coli infection.
All of the patients are adults between the ages of 20 and 55.
A total of 35 cases are linked to the outbreak thus far; 22 have resulted in hospitalizations, the CDC said.
"Traceback investigations are ongoing to determine the source of chopped romaine lettuce supplied to restaurant locations where ill people ate", the bulletin states. Anyone who has recently consumed pre-chopped romaine lettuce and has diarrhea and severe abdominal cramps should seek medical attention.
Before purchasing romaine lettuce at a grocery store or eating it at a restaurant, consumers should confirm with the store or restaurant that the romaine lettuce did not come from the Yuma, Arizona growing region, the New Jersey Department of Health advised.
According to the CDC, the New Jersey investigation included people who tested positive for E coli on a diagnostic test, but some may not be included in the CDC's case count, because no bacterial isolates were available for DNA fingerprinting.
"Nearly all of the romaine lettuce now being harvested and shipped throughout the United States is from California growing areas, and is not implicated in the outbreak". Restaurant customers should ask the origin of the lettuce before eating it.
And they are warning everyone to toss out any romaine lettuce they have in the fridge. In that instance, 25 people were sickened and one person died. Those most at risk for E. coli illness include the very young, the very old and individuals with compromised immune systems.
The industry groups said almost all of the romaine lettuce now being harvested and shipped throughout the United States is from California growing areas and those are not implicated in the outbreak.
The symptoms of hemolytic uremic syndrome, which usually start a few days after the E. coli symptoms start, including little or no urine output, lethargy, pale skin, and easy bruising.