5 dead, almost 200 sickened in romaine lettuce outbreak

5 dead, almost 200 sickened in romaine lettuce outbreak

5 dead, almost 200 sickened in romaine lettuce outbreak

Romaine lettuce from the Yuma growing region in Arizona is thought to be the source of the latest E. coli outbreak. The new CDC report announces four more deaths - one in Arkansas, two in Minnesota and one in NY. There have been 89 people hospitalized, and 26 who developed a type of kidney failure due to the infection.

Overall, five deaths have been reported in Arkansas, California, Minnesota and NY.

In an update Friday, health officials said 25 more cases raised the total to 197 illnesses in 35 states.

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

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.

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

Most new cases involve people who became sick two or three weeks ago, when the tainted lettuce was still available for sale.

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They haven't been able yet to trace the affected lettuce back to one particular farm, processor or distributor, FDA authorities said in an update Thursday.

Unlike spinach, which is often cooked, romaine - and lettuce in general - is more common as a culprit in E.coli outbreaks because it's eaten raw.

But since the growing season has ended, and affected lettuce is now off the shelves, the FDA may never get their answer.

Symptoms of E. coli vary, but include may include stomach cramps, fevers, bloody diarrhea and vomiting among others.

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

It is the largest United States outbreak of E. coli since 200 people fell ill in 2006.

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