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Published: Sat, June 02, 2018
Medical | By Garry George

More deaths in the E. coli outbreak tied to romaine lettuce

More deaths in the E. coli outbreak tied to romaine lettuce

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said 25 more people had been infected since its last report on 16 May. 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.

The Arizona growing season is long over and it's unlikely any tainted lettuce is still in stores or people's homes.

Some affected people did not report eating romaine lettuce, but had contact with those who fell ill after consuming the popular salad plant, the CDC said.

In early May, the Minnesota Department of Health confirmed 10 cases of E. coli infection in Minnesota, with three requiring hospitalization. In a June 1 advisory, the agency said that four additional deaths were reported in Arkansas, North Carolina and NY in addition to the original death in California. On Friday, health officials said they had learned of four more - one in Arkansas, one in NY, and two in Minnesota.

After the initial outbreak, the CDC issued a warning on romaine lettuce. Illnesses started on dates ranging from March 13, 2018 to May 12, 2018.

According to the Mayo Clinic, O157 E.coli symptoms include diarrhea, which could be bloody, as well as abdominal cramping or pain, and in some people, nausea.

This is the largest outbreak of its kind since a deadly E.coli outbreak in 2006 that was linked to spinach, CNN reported.

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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