Published: Sat, June 02, 2018
Medicine | By Tracy Klein

Four more die in E.Coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce

Four more die in E.Coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce

In addition, officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated the case count: 197 people from 35 states were sickened.

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.

Still, the CDC warns that iIllnesses that occurred after May 6, 2018 might not yet be reported due to the time it takes between when a person becomes ill and when the illness is reported.

The latest batch of illnesses are believed to be linked to romaine lettuce grown in the Yuma, Arizona region.

The CDC said that some of the affected people had not eaten lettuce, but had contact with others who had fallen ill. Canadian health officials also recently identified E. coli cases in several provinces that could potentially be linked to the outbreak in the United States. Deaths have been confirmed in Arkansas, California, Minnesota and NY with two of those deaths happening in Minnesota. On Friday, health officials said they had learned of four more - one in Arkansas, one in NY, and two in Minnesota.

People who get sick from toxin-producing E. coli come down with symptoms about three to four days after swallowing the germ, with many suffering bloody diarrhea, severe stomach cramps and vomiting. The last harvest was collected on April 16, and because the lettuce only has a 21-day shelf life, it is highly unlikely that any lettuce covered by the advisory is still available.

It is the largest USA outbreak of E. coli since 200 people fell ill in 2006. Eighty-nine people have been hospitalized, and 26 of them developed a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome.

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