Almost 200 people have become sick, and 5 people have died due to an E coli outbreak that has impacted 35 states. According to the Guardian, the outbreak can be traced back to tainted romaine lettuce originating from Yuma, Arizona. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 89 people have been hospitalized as a result of the outbreak. It isn’t yet clear where in the food production chain, the lettuce became contaminated. The contamination could have originated either in the harvesting, package, or distribution chain. Because there are so many places where the contamination could have occurred, it can make it difficult for officials to stop the outbreak and also hold those responsible accountable. As the outbreak grows and more people become infected, the government warns individuals from consuming romaine lettuce originating from Arizona.
What are the symptoms of E coli? The symptoms of E coli contamination include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, fever, fatigue, nausea, and vomiting. While most people recover within a week, some individuals experience kidney failure which can lead to serious illness, hospitalization, and even death. Young children, the elderly, and individuals with weakened immune systems are particularly at risk. If you believe you may be sick with E coli, it is wise to seek medical treatment as soon as possible.
One of the risks with E coli is that if it is misdiagnosed, patients can suffer serious complications. One writer for the New York Times reports about how her E coli infection was initially misdiagnosed as colitis. Patients who are given antibiotics while infected with E coli can develop potentially serious complications. For example, patients who are given antibiotics because of a misdiagnosis are more likely to see low platelet counts and kidney failure.
The recovery period following a serious case of E coli can take a long time. Individuals may face a long hospitalization. One young woman who was diagnosed with a serious case of the illness faced a 33 day hospital stay—and she was healthy before she became sick. For patients with compromised immune systems or other illnesses, the risk is higher. Some patients experience outright kidney failure, requiring them to be on dialysis, a time-consuming procedure.
If you or a loved one experiences symptoms of E coli, seek medical treatment as soon as possible. Victims of E coli contamination may require long hospital stays, a long recovery period, and suffer serious pain. Once we have a better understanding of the source of the recent E coli outbreak, families and victims may be able to fight back. You and your loved ones may be able to seek damages to cover your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. The Ledger Law Firm are personal injury lawyers who are closely watching the latest E coli outbreak. Our thoughts are with the families affected. If you’ve been hurt due to another person’s negligence or neglect, you have rights. Visit us at https://www.ledgerlaw.com/ to learn more.

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