Lettuce E.coli outbreak

Spencer Underwood
June 3, 2018

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. Since lettuce has a 21-day shelf life, it is unlikely that any romaine lettuce from the area remains in restaurants, stores or people's homes, the CDC said.

Five people have now died in a major E. coli outbreak in the USA involving romaine lettuce, with 197 cases reported across 35 states. Deaths have been confirmed in Arkansas, California, Minnesota and NY with two of those deaths happening in Minnesota.

As of May 30 the investigation figures show 197 people infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 have been reported from 35 states. On Friday, health officials said they have learned of four more - two in Minnesota and one each in Arkansas and NY.

Twenty five more people have confirmed to have contracted the disease who also reported eating romaine lettuce in the week before their illness started.

"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.

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

"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". Among those who fell ill, 89 people were hospitalized.

While most people recover within a week, some illnesses can last longer and be more severe, the CDC cautioned.

The first death was announced in early May in California.

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