Medicine

E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce killed 5, sickened 197

E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce killed 5, sickened 197

According to the latest statement from the CDC, numerous people affected fell ill two to three weeks ago, when the contaminated lettuce was still on shop shelves.

The CDC's May 30 update released on Friday also reveals that 25 more ill people from 13 states were added to the investigation since the last update on May 16.

Health officials have tied the E. coli outbreak to romaine lettuce grown in Yuma, Arizona.

Five people in the United States have died after eating romaine lettuce that was contaminated with E. coli bacteria, whose source remains a mystery, officials said Friday. At least 89 people were hospitalized.

In early May, the Minnesota Department of Health confirmed 10 cases of E. coli infection in Minnesota, with three requiring hospitalization.

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.

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The first illnesses occurred in March, and the most recent began on May 12, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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

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

Symptoms include diarrhea, which can be bloody, severe stomach cramps and vomiting.

After the initial outbreak, the CDC issued a warning on romaine lettuce.

The CDC has not pinpointed the exact source of the outbreak, but the lettuce appears to have been contaminated with Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O157:H7, a particularly risky strain of the bacteria. Twenty-six of those patients developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a form of kidney failure.