August 15, 2018

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

02 June 2018, 01:13 | Rodolfo Wallace

Lettuce now on shelves is probably safe but there is a lag in reporting illness and death from tainted produce

Four more deaths from eating tainted lettuce reported

Health officials said there are now 197 cases across 35 states.

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

Still, the CDC warns that iIllnesses that occurred after May 6, 2018 might not yet be reported due to the time it takes between when a person becomes ill and when the illness is reported. Two people from Minnesota, one person from Arkansas and one person from NY have died, according to the update.

In early May, the Minnesota Department of Health confirmed 10 cases of E. coli infection in Minnesota, with three requiring hospitalization. While almost 90 percent of those who fell ill reported eating romaine lettuce in the week before they were sickened, some told the CDC that they did not personally eat the lettuce but were in close contact with somebody who did.

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

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

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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.

As of June 1, 89 people have been hospitalized by the outbreak, but a recall has not been announced for romaine lettuce.

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

When eaten, E. coli can cause diarrhoea, vomiting and even kidney failure in severe cases.

Most people recover within a week, but some illnesses can last longer and be more severe.

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

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