First death reported from romaine lettuce E. coli outbreak: CDC

A doctor shares tips on how people can take precautions against the E. Coli outbreak

One person, in California, has died. Of those, at least 14 have developed kidney failure.

The toxin destroys red blood cells, and these damaged blood cells can block the kidneys' filtering system, leading to a condition known as hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

Health officials are continuing to investigate the outbreak but have not identified a single grower, farm, manufacturer, supplier or brand as the source of the E. coli contamination.

Other states reporting E. coli linked to romaine lettuce include: Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin. That hospitalization rate is far higher than usual, the agency added.

FDA and CDC are continuing their investigations to bring more clarity to this outbreak. Contact your doctor and write down what you've eaten if you get sick. You can contact Brendan, an attorney with Pritzker Hageman, at 1-888-377-8900. Illnesses started on dates ranging from March 13, 2018 to April 21, 2018.

Staff have been informing local retailers that if they can not identify the originating source of their produce, they should remove the product from the shelves.

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"Most people reported eating a salad at a restaurant, and romaine lettuce was the only common ingredient identified among the salads eaten", the FDA states.

But how exactly does E. coli kill? The number of people infected has increased to 121, with 52 hospitalized. Symptoms of HUS include little urine output, lethargy, pale skin, easy bruising, and bleeding from the nose or mouth.

Long term complications of an E. coli infection and HUS are serious.

Dr. Niel Johnson with Aurora Health Care joined to talk about what an E. coli infection is and what to do if you think you have one.

Pritzker Hageman, America's food safety law firm, successfully represents people harmed by adulterated food products in outbreaks throughout the United States. Pharmacists can play an important role in educating patients on foodborne illness prevention strategies.

Dairy and eggs account for 20% of food poisoning.

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