Five Dead in E Coli Outbreak Linked to Arizona Romaine Lettuce

(From The Guardian)

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 is 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 on 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: one in Arkansas, one in New York and two in Minnesota.

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.

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