5 dead, almost 200 sickened in romaine lettuce E. coli outbreak

Pearl Mccarthy
June 2, 2018

Since mid-May, "four more deaths were reported, bringing the total to five deaths from Arkansas (1), California (1), Minnesota (2), and NY (1)", the CDC said in a statement.

The disease appears to have been spread from romaine lettuce grown in the Yuma region of Arizona. That means it is unlikely that any romaine lettuce from the Yuma growing region is still available in people's homes, grocery stores or restaurants due to its 21-day shelf life.

Four more people have died as a result of the E. coli outbreak tied to romaine lettuce, bringing the total to five deaths, health officials reported Friday. At least 89 people were hospitalized.

The outbreak is the largest in the United States since 2006, when spinach tainted with a similar strain of E. coli sickened more than 200 people. In a June 1 advisory, the agency said that four additional deaths were reported in Arkansas, North Carolina and NY in addition to the original death in California.

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It takes two to three weeks between when a person becomes ill with E. coli and when the illness is reported to CDC. Of those three cases, two developed a potentially fatal condition called hemolytic uremic syndrome that sometimes leads to kidney failure.

According to the Mayo Clinic, O157 E.coli symptoms include diarrhea, which could be bloody, as well as abdominal cramping or pain, and in some people, nausea.

Bacteria sickens almost 100 people across 22 states; Claudia Cowan reports. While almost 90 percent of those who fell ill reported eating romaine lettuce in the week before they were sickened, some told the CDC that they did not personally eat the lettuce but were in close contact with somebody who did.

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