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

02 June, 2018, 13:14 | Author: Lillian Steele
  • Four more deaths have been linked to a national food poisoning outbreak blamed on tainted Arizona-grown romaine lettuce

Four more people have died from eating romaine lettuce tainted with E. coli, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said Friday.

Tainted lettuce may be off store shelves, but the ramifications of the nationwide romaine E. coli outbreak aren't over yet. Health officials said there are now 197 cases across 35 states. In the spring, the CDC linked the outbreak to romaine lettuce grown in and around Yuma, Arizona.

The CDC stresses, however, that most of the newly reported cases involve people who fell ill two to three weeks ago, when contaminated lettuce from the Yuma, Ariz., area was still available to consumers. On Friday, health officials said they have learned of four more - two in Minnesota and one each in Arkansas and NY. The new CDC report announces four more deaths - one in Arkansas, two in Minnesota and one in NY. On Friday, health officials said they had learned of four more - one in Arkansas, one in NY, and two in Minnesota.

"We are actively evaluating a number of theories about how romaine lettuce grown on multiple farms in the same growing region could have become contaminated around the same time", Dr. Scott Gottlieb and Dr. Stephen Ostroff wrote. Illnesses started on dates ranging from March 13, 2018 to May 12, 2018.

Symptoms include diarrhea, which can be bloody, severe stomach cramps and vomiting.

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Almost half of those who became ill had to be hospitalized.

While most people recover within a week, some illnesses can last longer and be more severe, the CDC cautioned.

The recent E. coli outbreak is the most severe to hit the US since 2006, when three people died in an outbreak linked to uncooked spinach.

Of the total 187 patients for whom information was available, 89 (or 48 per cent) were hospitalised, including 26 who developed a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome.

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