The student newspaper of, by, and for Ames High School.

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The student newspaper of, by, and for Ames High School.

The WEB

The student newspaper of, by, and for Ames High School.

The WEB

Spinach is out to get you…

For years, children have fussed when their parents made them eat spinach; now they have a legitimate argument. A recent E. coli outbreak in spinach has left spinach lovers praying for the end. The outbreak was first reported Sept. 13, and has been linked to the Natural Selection Foods company located in San Juan Bautista, California. The outbreak of contaminated spinach has occurred in states in every corner of the United States. In the most recent study, there were 183 reported cases linked to the E. coli outbreak, including three deaths. The Center for Disease Control reported that 27 people suffered kidney failure and 92 people required hospitalization due to the E. coli found in their spinach. E. coli is a type of bacteria that lives in the lower intestine of warm-blooded animals. Its presence in surface water is an indicator of fecal contamination. Symptoms of E. coli result from toxins in the intestinal system. The germ causes severe cramps, bloody diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. In most cases, it takes 24 to 72 hours for the germ to cause any illness. E. coli is most dangerous to infants and the elderly because it causes a complication known as hemolytic uremic syndrome, which kills red blood cells and causes kidney failure. Antibiotics should not be used to treat the illness. In most cases, people recover with no specific treatment in five to ten days. Food and Drug Administration officials warn that simply washing spinach will not get rid of the E. coli. Grocery stores across the country have recalled the spinach from their produce shelves. Because washing spinach will not kill E. coli, the safest thing to do is to wait until spinach is no longer contaminated. But if waiting is not an option, eat frozen or canned spinach instead. Only fresh spinach is contaminated.

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