One E.coli case confirmed in Michigan linked to romaine lettuce

LANSING, Mich. (WSYM) - Romaine lettuce, it's great for Cesar salad, it's also a nice addition to tacos and sandwiches, but during your next trip to the grocery store you may want to cross that item off your list.

“We're finding a common relationship and that people have all eaten a specific type of lettuce so not all types of lettuce, but romaine lettuce”, said Chief Medical Executive Dr. Eden Wells from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

“It seems to arise out of Yuma, Arizona.”

Dr. Wells says there is an E.coli outbreak in eleven states and chopped romaine lettuce is the cause.

“It can be a very severe illness and we've had 22 people hospitalized so far out of the 35 people who've become sick…and we expect the number to rise”, Dr. Wells explained.

The numbers may be rising right here in Michigan.

“We have a possible second case, that's not been confirmed yet”, said Wells.

The medical executive says people who may have been exposed to the bacteria may not see symptoms for as long as two to three weeks.

Those symptoms can include bloody diarrhea, stomach cramps and vomiting.

“With this one we also know that there is the added toxin that this E. coli can form in the body of the person who's sick and can cause additional problems such as kidney failure or problems with the blood”, said Wells.

If you're not sure if your romaine lettuce is safe here's some advice.

“When in doubt, throw it out”, advises Wells.

So far there have been no deaths in connection to the outbreak.