While there have been no reports of lettuce-related illness in South Carolina, the outbreak has sickened 172 people in 32 states. Seventy-five people were reported hospitalized and at least one person died.
Symptoms of an E. coli infection, which can take up to 10 days to begin, can include bloody diarrhea, extreme stomach cramps, kidney failure and vomiting.
E. coli bacteria are found naturally in the environment, foods and intestines of people and animals. Certain strains of the bacteria, such as E. coli 0157:H7, which is behind the current outbreak, can cause severe sickness in humans.
While most people will recover from E. coli within a week or so, at-risk individuals, such as children, older adults and people with compromised immune systems, can experience serious illness — or death — due to the infection.