"The likely source of the outbreak in the United States appears to be leafy greens, but officials have not specifically identified a type of leafy greens eaten by people who became ill", the CDC said Wednesday.
However, the type of E. coli making people ill resembles that linked to a similar outbreak in Canada, where the Public Health Agency identified romaine lettuce as the source.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the total number of those infected has climbed to 24. Individuals became sick in November and early December 2017.
Nine people were hospitalized, including one in California that died. Canada pointed to romaine lettuce as the source of its outbreak.
The cases in the United States are the same strain as the cases in Canada, and some of them have the same genetic fingerprint. In the US, nine people were hospitalized due to the infection and two people were diagnosed with a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome.
Pressure had been mounting on the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to provide more information to the public about this outbreak.
The cases occurring in both the US and Canada are of the same strain and appear to share a genetic fingerprint, CNN reported, but the CDC said this was not sufficient data to prove a link.
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The CDC, for its part, says that it hasn't yet identified the type of leafy green involved and that it's investigation is continuing.
This is about the same timing of an outbreak of E. coli in Canada, which health officials declared over on Wednesday.
If you've somehow missed the huge warnings so far, we beg of you: Do not eat romaine lettuce. That percentage is not significantly higher than the 46 percent of healthy people who reported eating romaine lettuce the prior week, the CDC said. Because of these reporting delays, more time is needed before CDC can say the outbreak in the United Stated is over.
The symptoms of an E. coli O157:H7 infection include severe and painful stomach and abdominal cramps, diarrhea that is bloody and/or watery, and mild fever.
Wendy's has not traced any E. coli infections to its customers and hasn't seen any issues with its supply chain, but decided not to take any risks. You can also wash counters, cutting boards, and utensils after they touch raw meat to avoid contaminating other foods.
The latest authority to speak out on the dangers romaine is posing to the public is the Sudbury and District Health Unit, which serves the most populous metropolitan area in Northern Ontario.