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SMDHU warning residents not to eat romaine lettuce after E. coli outbreak

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit office in Barrie. Nick Westoll / File / Global News

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) is reminding residents to avoid eating romaine lettuce.

According to a news release issued on Wednesday, the SMDHU says residents should avoid eating romaine lettuce and salad mixes containing romaine lettuce following a notice from the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) of an E. coli outbreak.

The health unit says E. coli are naturally occurring bacteria that live in the intestines of cattle, poultry and other animals. The bacteria can be transmitted through food or water that has been contaminated.

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Health officials say infections from E. coli can cause symptoms including severe stomach cramps, diarrhea and vomiting.

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The SMDHU says most people who become ill from an E. coli infection will recover on their own, however, some people including pregnant women, those with weakened immune systems, young children and older adults are at a higher risk of developing serious complications.

According to an update from the PHAC, as of Wednesday, there were 19 confirmed cases of E. coli across the country.

More information about the PHAC notice and the investigation can be found on the PHAC website.

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