Food poisoning is no joke. There are many different ways you can become ill from consuming contaminated food, and some of these illnesses can have serious complications or even result in death.
One particular outbreak we are following, the E.Coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce grown in the Yuma region of Arizona, has resulted in five deaths as of May 30, 2018. We have discussed this outbreak before – in our last blog post on the outbreak, it had sickened 98 victims in 22 states, and no deaths had been reported in conjunction with it. Though E.Coli symptoms usually subside within a few days through rest and rehydration, it can progress to hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a dangerous kidney condition that can result in a victim’s death if he or she does not receive prompt, appropriate medical care. HUS is treatable with dialysis, IV fluid replacement, and blood and platelet transfusions, but can lead to kidney failure when the victim does not receive this care.
Updated Outbreak Numbers for June 2018
As of May 30, 2018, statistics for the ongoing the romaine lettuce-linked E.Coli are:
- 197 cases of reported illness;
- Reported illnesses in 35 states;
- 89 hospitalizations;
- 26 reported cases of HUS;
- Five victim deaths;
- A median victim age of 29;
- Victims aged one to 88 years old; and
- 68% of victims are female.
The illnesses fall into four distinct clusters - one in Alaska linked directly to Harrison Farm in Yuma, one on the East Coast linked to Freshway and Panera Bread, and two clusters on the West Coast linked to Papa Murphy’s Pizza and Red Lobster.
Protecting Yourself and Your Family From E.Coli
Do not consume romaine lettuce unless you can personally verify that it was grown outside the Yuma region of Arizona. This includes romaine lettuce available in grocery stores and consuming prepared food items from restaurants and other food vendors that contain romaine lettuce.
Halting your romaine lettuce consumption is one step you can take to protect yourself and your family from E.Coli poisoning, but it is not the only one. E.Coli can be found in other foods as well, such as ground beef and alfalfa sprouts. Reduce your chance of contracting E.Coli through these foods by cooking them thoroughly before consuming them. Wash your hands completely before cooking and eating and after you use the bathroom. If you experience E.Coli symptoms that persist despite you resting and staying sufficiently hydrated, seek medical attention.
Work with an Experienced Chicago Food Poisoning Lawyer
If you suffer financial damages because of an E.Coli infection caused by another party’s negligence, you have the right to pursue monetary compensation for your damages through a personal injury claim. To learn more about pursuing compensation this way, contact our team of experienced food poisoning lawyers at Newland & Newland, LLP today to set up your initial legal consultation in our office. We serve clients in the Arlington Heights, Palatine, Rolling Meadows, Libertyville, Mundelein, Buffalo Grove, Schaumburg, Elk Grove, and Itasca areas.
(image courtesy of Petra Cigale)