Winter weather advisory issued for all of SE Wisconsin from 6 a.m. until noon Wednesday

New case of E. coli in Wisconsin linked to romaine lettuce

The number of people hospitalized due to a multistate E. coli outbreak linked to chopped romaine lettuce continues to grow, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

MILWAUKEE — Officials with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services said Wednesday, May 16 there is one new case of E. coli linked to romaine lettuce in the state of Wisconsin.

DHS officials noted “it appears the romaine is no longer at stores or restaurants.”

According to the DHS website, nationwide, 149 people from 29 states have been infected. Illnesses started on dates ranging from March 13, 2018, to April 25, 2018.

To date, 64 people have been hospitalized, with one death reported.

Information collected to date indicates that romaine lettuce from the Yuma growing region could be contaminated with E. coli and could make people sick.

As of May 9, two cases in Wisconsin were linked to this outbreak. The new case makes three.

E. coli is a group of bacteria found in the intestines of people and animals, and that can also be found in the environment. Most strains of E. coli are harmless and serve an important role in the digestive system. However, some strains of E. coli are pathogenic, meaning they can cause illness in humans. Many of these pathogenic E. coli cause diarrhea and are referred to as diarrheagenic E. coli. Other E. coli can leave the intestines and cause infections in other sites of the body such as urinary tract infections, blood stream infections and respiratory illnesses.

Consumer Advice from DHS: 

  • Do not eat or buy romaine lettuce unless you can confirm it is not from the Yuma growing region.
  • Product labels often do not identify growing regions; so, do not eat or buy it if you do not know where it was grown.
  • This advice includes whole heads and hearts of romaine lettuce, baby romaine, organic romaine, chopped romaine, and salads and salad mixes containing romaine lettuce. If you do not know if the lettuce is romaine, do not eat it.
  • Talk to your health care provider if you have symptoms of an E. coli infection and report your illness to your local health department. You can also write down what you ate in the week before you started to get sick and talk to public health investigators if they have questions about your illness.
  • Please visit the CDC website for more information on this multi-state outbreak as well as recommendations to restaurantsretailers, and clinicians.