Public Health officials warn of a recent E. coli outbreak in Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, and Pennsylvania that has left 84 people ill and 38 hospitalized. Of those, eight people have suffered a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome. The CDC acknowledged that the actual number of affected people is higher, and there may be more cases in other states.
The CDC is using the PulseNet system to investigate similar outbreaks. The system compares the DNA of the bacteria from the patients to identify disease clusters. Their testing indicated that the bacteria collected from the affected patients are closely related. Of those individuals who have reported illness, 88% reported eating romaine lettuce found on Wendy’s sandwiches. The CDC warns that contaminated romaine lettuce may have been sold to local grocers in Ohio and Michigan.
Authorities continue to investigate the outbreak for a confirmed source of contamination. A specific food has not been confirmed as the outbreak’s source, but most sick people reported eating burgers and sandwiches with romaine lettuce at Wendy’s restaurants before becoming ill. Although many people who contract E. coli will recover within ten days, more severe cases can lead to HUS (hemolytic uremic syndrome), a serious form of kidney failure. Common symptoms of E. coli infections can include diarrhea, bloody stool, fevers higher than 102 degrees, and vomiting, which can lead to dehydration. The CDC has asked the public to record the food they ate in the week leading up to the illness if they are experiencing the above symptoms. This information can help them locate the source of the infection.
Food safety and sanitation are essential to preventing life-altering consequences for victims who ingest bacteria-ridden foods. Despite these facts, food producers and distributors may continue to operate with negligence which can endanger consumers’ lives. If you consume contaminated food and become ill, seek medical treatment so your condition is not left untreated. Along with treatment, your doctor may be a credible source of evidence when pursuing a food poisoning lawsuit. Filing a lawsuit once you are well will allow you to receive compensation for any medical bills, missed time from work, and suffering related to the illness.
An E. coli lawsuit is filed on behalf of the individual who became ill after consuming contaminated food, water, or other products. Depending upon the circumstances of the case, a lawsuit can be filed against more than one party, including food manufacturers, producers, and distributors who sold the contaminated products to the restaurant or store where consumers could purchase them. Consumers can also file a private lawsuit against restaurant owners or other parties who served them the contaminated food. If you or a loved one has become ill after ingesting contaminated food, contact one of our E. coli contamination attorneys at Charles Boyk Law Offices for a free consultation.