CDC confirms five deaths connected to E. coli-tainted lettuce

02 June, 2018, 05:10 | Author: Veronica Peterson
  • In an update Friday health officials said 25 more cases raised the total to 197 illnesses in 35 states. At least 89 were hospitalized

"It is unlikely that any romaine lettuce from the Yuma growing region is still available in stores or restaurants, due to its 21-day shelf life", said the FDA. At least 89 were hospitalized. The four additional deaths were reported from Arkansas, Minnesota and NY. While they have traced the toxic E. coli strain to the Yuma growing region, they are still looking for the precise source - whether it originated in the water supply, harvesting equipment, a processing plant in the area or somewhere else. Canadian health officials also recently identified E. coli cases in several provinces that could potentially be linked to the outbreak in the United States.

Officials said that first illness began sometime between March 13 and May 12.

A total of 197 people have fallen ill in 35 states, said the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

When a person becomes infected with the bacteria, it can take two to three weeks before a report to the CDC.

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The CDC said that some of the affected people had not eaten lettuce, but had contact with others who had fallen ill.

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

Canada's Public Health Agency has also recorded six cases of E. coli "with a similar genetic fingerprint" to the U.S. infections. 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 Associated Press Health & Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Department of Science Education.

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