5 dead, nearly 200 sick in romaine E. coli outbreak

Ebony Scott
June 3, 2018

The Shiga toxin-producing bacteria has infected 197 people in 35 states since March, the CDC said in a new statistics report Friday. 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.

Four more deaths were reported from Arkansas (1), Minnesota (2), and NY (1). Officials have still not targeted the exact source of the lettuce but have focused on Yuma, Arizona.

"Some people who became sick did not report eating romaine lettuce, but had close contact with someone else who got sick from eating romaine lettuce".

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

Of those who became ill, about half had be hospitalized, with 26 developing a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome, the CDC said.

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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.

"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.

"Any contaminated product from the Yuma growing region has already worked its way through the food supply and is no longer available for consumption", said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb.

Most E. coli bacteria are not harmful, but some produce toxins that can cause severe illness. Canadian health officials also recently identified E. coli cases in several provinces that could potentially be linked to the outbreak in the United States.

Other reports by GizPress

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