Reports of Shiga-toxin producing E. Coli (STEC) food poisoning on the rise in SW Idaho

FS__08_Under5_Kidney_Tips_1080x1080Today we’re talking about food poisoning, and a serious increase in STEC cases in Southwest Idaho – What the heck is STEC?

So, the past month was National Food Safety Month and coincidentally here in Southwest Idaho, the Department of Health and Welfare along with our local public health district partners have had an unusually large number of reports about infections caused by Shiga-toxin producing E. Coli – or STEC for short –that has resulted in several hospitalizations of very young children, so now’s a good time to understand what STEC is, what to watch for and how to reduce the risk of infection to yourself or your children. Continue reading

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UPDATED: Idaho E. coli infections linked to romaine lettuce from Yuma, Ariz.

April 20, 2018: UPDATE: As of today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expanding its warning to cover ALL types of romaine from the Yuma, Ariz., growing region, including whole heads and hearts of romaine in addition to chopped romaine from that area. Also, the number of cases in Idaho has increased to 10. More details here.

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Public health officials in Idaho are investigating an outbreak of E. coli infections that are linked to a national outbreak affecting at least 10 other states.

Chopped romaine

Chopped romaine lettuce

At this time, eight Idaho residents have become sick with E. coli infections. All eight people who have become ill report eating romaine lettuce in the 10 days prior to becoming ill. Three individuals were hospitalized, and two have developed kidney failure linked to the E. coli infection. All hospitalized individuals were adults between the ages of 20 and 55. No deaths have been linked to this outbreak.

Initial investigations by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and public health officials in affected states indicate that chopped romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Ariz., growing region, could be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7 and causing illness. No common grower, supplier, distributor, or brand has been identified yet. Continue reading