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Wendy's & E.coli Investigation: 40 people sick in 4 states

How to report a foodborne illness to your health department and why it is so important.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Federal health officials are investigating an E.coli outbreak that has sickened dozens of people. Fast-food chain Wendy’s is pulling romaine lettuce from its sandwiches in some restaurants while the E.coli outbreak is investigated.

Nearly 40 people have now been infected with the outbreak strain E.coli 0157 in 4 states with most of the cases from Michigan and Ohio, according to the CDC. At least 10 people have been hospitalized, including three in Michigan, with a type of kidney failure.  

The CDC says people should call their healthcare provider if they have severe E.coli symptoms such as:

- Diarrhea that lasts for more than 3 days

- Diarrhea accompanied by a fever higher than 102

- Bloody diarrhea

- So much vomiting that you cannot keep liquids down

A specific food has not been confirmed as the source of the outbreak, but most people reported eating sandwiches with romaine lettuce at Wendy’s restaurants before getting sick. A different type of romaine lettuce is used in salads.  

The CDC is also asking for the public's help. If you have E.coli symptoms, write down what you ate in the week before you became ill and report the illness to your local or state health department.  

 There is no evidence at this time that the romaine lettuce sold in grocery stores is connected to this outbreak. 

This food poisoning investigation is like so many before it-- people got sick and they reported the sickness to their local health department. Without this kind of reporting, government oversight agencies like the CDC don't know there is a problem and can't stop others from getting sick.


From the Guilford County Health Department: When an individual suspects that they have food poisoning, they should...

Correspondent: Astrid Martinez/ Producer: Dana Carullo

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