5 dead, nearly 200 sickened in romaine lettuce outbreak

5 dead, nearly 200 sickened in romaine lettuce outbreak

Five people were killed and almost 200 were sickened by an E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce, but the threat of new cases has likely passed, according to the Centers for Disease Control. In the spring, the CDC linked the outbreak to romaine lettuce grown in and around Yuma, Arizona.

It takes two to three weeks between when a person becomes ill with E. coli and when the illness is reported to CDC. The new CDC report announces four more deaths - one in Arkansas, two in Minnesota and one in NY.

Two deaths from the current outbreak occurred in Minnesota, and one each in Arkansas, California, and NY. On Friday, health officials said they had learned of four more - one in Arkansas, one in NY, and two in Minnesota. Eighty-nine people have been hospitalized, and 26 of them developed a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome.

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

"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".

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Romaine lettuce grown in the Arizona region was last harvested in mid-April.

Officials urge anyone who thinks they may be ill with an E. coli infection to see their doctor.

"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.

According to the agency, most people who become sick start experiencing symptoms three to four days after consuming produce tainted by Shiga-toxin producing E. coli O157:H7.

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