The CDC has reported additional cases of an E. coli outbreak associated with Wendy’s
Investigators from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday they have identified 13 new cases in a multistate outbreak of E. coli found in people who ate romaine lettuce in burgers and sandwiches from the Wendy’s fast-food chain.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data shows that the outbreak has now spread to two new states, with Kentucky and New York reporting their first cases. The other four states with known cases include Michigan with 54, Ohio with 24, Indiana with 11 and Pennsylvania with two, bringing a total of 97 people who have contracted the disease nationwide as of Wednesday.
Of the 81 people where health authorities have information, 43 were taken to hospital and 10 developed a more serious condition linked to kidney failure, while no deaths were documented.
Ebony Colbert told ABC affiliate WXYZ that she was hospitalized for 12 days after she ate a cheeseburger at Wendy’s in Farmington, Michigan, in late July. Colbert said she had bloody diarrhea and immediately called her doctor, who told her to go to the emergency room.
WXYZ reports that Colbert is now suing not only the restaurant chain, but its suppliers as well.
Last month, Wendy’s issued a statement addressing a CDC report that said the company may be linked to the outbreak, saying it had already taken action to remove romaine lettuce at some of its Midwestern restaurants.
“We are fully cooperating with public health authorities in the ongoing investigation of regional E. coli outbreaks that have been reported in some Midwestern states,” the August 19 statement read. “Although the CDC has not yet confirmed that a specific food is the source of this outbreak, we have taken precautions to remove lettuce in some restaurants in that area.”
The CDC said Thursday that they are still working to determine the cause of the outbreak.
The first case was reported on July 26, while the last case was recorded on August 15. Although the CDC warns that cases may be underestimated because many people recover before undergoing an E. coli test, it takes three to four weeks for an evaluation. about whether someone has been infected as part of an E. coli outbreak.
The investigators recorded the patients’ nutritional history. Of the 67 patients who provided a detailed assessment of what they ate in the week prior to becoming ill, 81% said they ate dinner at Wendy’s. Sixty-nine percent of those who provided details of what they consumed at Wendy’s said they ate romaine on burgers and sandwiches.