The Wendy’s restaurant at the northeast corner of Jamaica Avenue and Queens Boulevard in Jamaica, Queens, near Briarwood and Richmond Hill in April, 2022.
Source – Tdorante10, CC SA 4.0.
As of August 31, 2022, a total of 97 people infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 have been reported from six states.
On September 1, 2022, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published an update on the E. coli Investigation. One thing stands out – “A specific food has not yet been confirmed as the source of this outbreak, but many sick people reported eating burgers and sandwiches with romaine lettuce at Wendy’s restaurants before getting sick.”
CTV News Canada is reporting that of the 67 people for whom local public health officials have a detailed food history, 81 percent of them report eating at a Wendy’s restaurant in the week before their illness started, the CDC said.
While no deaths have been reported, the CDC does say that 43 people have been hospitalized and 10 developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a serious condition that can cause kidney failure.
“The true number of sick people in this outbreak is likely higher than the number reported, and the outbreak may not be limited to the states with known illnesses,” the update said. “In addition, some people recover without medical care and are not tested for E. coli.”
Wendy’s removed the romaine lettuce that was being used in sandwiches in its restaurants in Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, according to the CDC, reports CNN News.
Also, the CDC is not advising that people avoid Wendy’s, and the agency notes there is no evidence that romaine lettuce sold in grocery stores or served in other restaurants is linked to the current outbreak.
Those who have E. coli symptoms, like diarrhea and a fever over 102°F, severe vomiting, or signs of dehydration, should call their health care provider right away, according to the CDC. They are also urged to write down what they ate the week before and report their illness to their local or state health department.