The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says at least 53 people have been infected in 16 states, including New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
As CBS2’s Andrea Grymes reported, her brother-in-law Rob Philippou, of Garden City, is usually a very active married father of two little girls. But for the last week, he’s been anything but active, fighting a suspected E. coli infection.
“There have been nights where I’ve been really nauseous, and there’s times when I’ve had really bad abdominal pain and terrible cramps,” he said.
It started last Wednesday after he ate salad for lunch in Harrison, New Jersey. By that night, the symptoms were in full swing.
“Came home and I just started going to the bathroom and really didn’t stop and really hasn’t stopped since,” he said.
Doctors are testing whether Philippou has an E. coli infection linked to chopped romaine lettuce.
“This particular strain of E. coli is really nasty. It’ll cause terrible stomach cramping, vomiting and lots and lots of diarrhea, which can go on for a week or sometimes even longer,” CBS2’s Dr. Max Gomez explained.
So far, experts have not been able to identify a specific brand, distributor or supplier of the lettuce, only that it’s from the Yuma, Arizona region.
The CDC warns consumer across the country to discard any chopped romaine lettuce they may have, including salad and salad bag mixes.
In Philippou’s case, he ended up in the emergency room last weekend, suffering from a fever, low blood pressure and dehydration. He’s now feeling a little better.
“I’m a young guy, so they said it will kind of run its course and just try to tough it out,” he said.
With two daughters eager to play and work on hold, he hopes it runs its course soon.
The CDC says no deaths have been reported, but more than 30 people have been hospitalized.