The early signs of the Outbreak were discovered in New Jersey due to a high amount of sick people. However, it was not just E.coli, it was 0157:H7, which makes this a very dangerous strain that can destroy the lining of your blood vessels when infected. Over 98 people in over 23 states have been infected and over half of them have been hospitalized. To add to this issue, over 10 people have had kidney failures.The malefactor is romaine lettuce. Although we know what the cause of the outbreak is, the contaminated lettuce has not been found and therefore, the best way to prevent getting contaminated is by avoiding pre-chopped romaine lettuce or by not eating the lettuce at all.

It is best to be safe than sorry, so prevention is your friend. A report by Wired provided most of the information used in this article.

What are the symptoms?

Intestinal infections such as diarrhea, abdominal pain, and fever are the most common symptoms of E. Coli. However, the most severe cases can lead to kidney failure, dehydration, and even bloody diarrhea. If you have eaten romaine lettuce and have any of these symptoms, you much reach out to your doctor or go to the emergency room immediately. Though kidney failure is rare, without hospital care, the infected people can die. Although this is serious, you do not need to be scared as long as you have access to medical help. Additionally, if you know someone that has these symptoms, it is important that you avoid physical contact with that person and advice them to go to their nearest emergency room to get tested.

Is it contagious?

Yes. If the bacteria is found in the infected person’s stool, they are contagious. The best way to prevent passing this down to others is by washing your hands properly and avoiding contact with bodily fluids. In regards to a cure, antibiotics are not given because they can increase complications but with supportive care from a hospital, the infected people can be properly treated with blood transfusions.

To prevent this outbreak from increasing and affecting more consumers on a national scale, the CDC has told consumers to avoid consuming romaine lettuce from Yuma and to avoid any consumption if they cannot identify where the lettuce originally comes from. A 2013 study has also proven that the No. 1 cause of food poisoning is leafy vegetables.

This does not mean that you have to stop eating healthy, this just means that knowing where your vegetables come from is significant to your well-being and to prevent another outbreak like this one from happening.