AND multi-state E. coli epidemic It has grown associated with the lettuce in Wendy’s sandwiches, with dozens of infections reported last week, according to federal health officials.
Since August, the Agency said on Thursday that on August 17, when the outbreak was first announced, 55 more diseases were reported in the outbreak to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, bringing the total number of infections reported to 84.
Of those, 38 were hospitalized, including eight people in Michigan with a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome, the CDC said. No deaths have been reported so far.
Infections have been reported to the CDC from four states: Michigan (53); Ohio (23); Indiana (six); and Pennsylvania (two).
Although the CDC reports that many of those who fell ill ate at Wendy’s, CDC researchers are working to confirm the source of the outbreak.
“The specific food has not yet been confirmed as the source of this outbreak, but many patients have reported that Wendy ate lettuce sandwiches before getting sick at her restaurants in Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania,” the CDC said. don’t notice.
The CDC reported that of the 62 people interviewed by the researchers, 52 (84%) had eaten at a Wendy’s a week before they became ill. Of the 17 people who had detailed information about what they ate there, 15 (88%) reported eating lettuce served in hamburgers and sandwiches.
As a precaution, the fast food chain has removed the lettuce used in sandwiches from restaurants in that area. A different type of lettuce is used in salads.
Inside description on website On Friday, Wendy’s confirmed that it is “cooperating fully with public health officials in their ongoing investigation into the regional E. coli outbreak reported in some midwestern states,” adding that it has ” taken the precaution of discarding and replacing sandwich lettuce at some restaurants.” in that area.”
The statement said, “The lettuce we use in our salads is different and is not affected by this action. As a company, we are committed to maintaining our high standards in food safety and quality.”
The CDC does not recommend that people stop eating at Wendy’s or eating lettuce in general.
“There is no evidence that lettuce currently sold in grocery stores, served in other restaurants or in people’s homes, is linked to this outbreak,” the CDC said.
Most people infected with E. coli experience severe stomach cramps, vomiting, and often bloody diarrhea that begins three to four days after ingesting the bacteria.
The CDC urges people to call their healthcare provider right away if they have severe symptoms such as diarrhea lasting longer than three days, diarrhea and fever greater than 102 degrees Fahrenheit, vomiting too much to reduce fluids, and symptoms. dehydration.
Although some people may develop kidney failure, most get better within a week without treatment.
ABC News’ Eric Strauss contributed to this report.
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