4 More Deaths Linked to Romaine Outbreak Though Tainted Lettuce Likely No Longer Available - NBC4 Washington
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4 More Deaths Linked to Romaine Outbreak Though Tainted Lettuce Likely No Longer Available

Many of the new cases were people who became ill two to three weeks ago, when contaminated lettuce was still being sold

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    This April 23, 2018, file photo shows romaine lettuce on a shelf at a supermarket in San Rafael, California. The Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advised American consumers to throw away and avoid eating the lettuce variety, especially if it originated from Yuma, Arizona, as investigators tried to figure out the cause of an E. coli outbreak.

    Four more deaths have been linked to a national food poisoning outbreak blamed on tainted lettuce, bringing the total to five.

    Health officials have tied the E. coli outbreak to romaine lettuce grown in Yuma, Arizona. The growing season there ended six weeks ago, and it's unlikely any tainted lettuce is still in stores or people's homes, given its short shelf life. But there can be a lag in reporting, and reports of illnesses have continued to come in.

    In an update Friday on the nation's largest E. coli outbreak in a decade, health officials said 25 more cases have been added, raising the total number of illnesses to 197 in 35 states. At least 89 people were hospitalized.

    Previously one death had been reported, in California. On Friday, health officials said they had learned of four more — in California, Arkansas, Minnesota and New York.

    Do Not Eat Any Romaine Lettuce, CDC Warns

    [NATL] Do Not Eat Any Romaine Lettuce, CDC Warns

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has warned not to eat any romaine lettuce after an e. coli outbreak has sickened over 50 people across 16 U.S. states. All lettuce is suspect unless it is clearly not from Arizona.

    (Published Saturday, April 21, 2018)

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

    Many of the new cases were people who became ill two to three weeks ago, when contaminated lettuce was still being sold. Some said they did not eat romaine lettuce but were in close contact with someone who got sick after eating it.

    Most E. coli bacteria are not harmful, but some produce toxins that can cause severe illness. People who get sick from toxin-producing E. coli come down with symptoms about three to four days after swallowing the germ, with many suffering bloody diarrhea, severe stomach cramps and vomiting.

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