CDC Update: Outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 Infections Linked to Romaine Lettuce

Media Statement

For Immediate Release: Thursday, December 6, 2018
Contact: Media Relations
(404) 639-3286

A CDC update on the outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 infections linked to romaine lettuce has been posted:


  • Nine additional people have been reported since the last update on November 26, 2018. This brings the total to 52 cases from 15 states.
  • Nineteen people have been hospitalized, including two people who developed a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome. No deaths have been reported.
  • Illnesses started on dates ranging from October 5, 2018 to November 18, 2018. We expect to see additional illnesses reported due to the 2- to 3-week time period from when a person gets sick to when it is reported to CDC.
  • No common grower, supplier, distributor, or brand of romaine lettuce has been identified.
  • CDC continues to advise consumers not eat and retailers and restaurants not to serve or sell any romaine lettuce from the Central Coastal growing regions of northern and central California.
  • Some romaine lettuce products are now labeled with a harvest location by region. Check bags or boxes for a label to confirm that it was not harvested in the Central Coastal growing regions of northern and central California.
  • If the romaine lettuce is not labeled, do not buy, serve, sell, or eat it.
  • CDC collected samples of water to test for E. coli O157:H7 as part of FDA’s investigation of farms and cooling facilities in California that were identified in traceback. These test results are pending.
  • People with symptoms of an E. coli infection, such as severe stomach cramps, diarrhea (often bloody), and vomiting, who think they might have gotten sick from eating romaine lettuce, should talk to their doctor and report their illness to the health department.
  • Antibiotics are not recommended for patients with E. coli O157 infections. Antibiotics are also not recommended for patients with a suspected E.coli O157 infection, until diagnostic testing rules out this infection.
  • This investigation is ongoing and CDC will provide more information as it becomes available.

If you have further questions about this outbreak, please call the CDC media line at (404) 639-3286 or email If you have questions about cases in a particular state, please call that state’s health department.


Page last reviewed: December 6, 2018