Medicine

Coli outbreak in lettuce spreads even futrther, more deaths confirmed

Coli outbreak in lettuce spreads even futrther, more deaths confirmed

Four more deaths have been reported in connection with the outbreak, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) update released Friday.

Health officials announced on Friday that five people have now died after consuming tainted lettuce from Arizona, making this the nation's largest E. coli outbreak in a decade.

"Most of the people who recently became ill ate romaine lettuce when lettuce from the Yuma [Arizona] growing region was likely still available in stores, restaurants, or in peoples' homes", the report said. But there can be a lag in reporting, and reports of illnesses have continued to come in. On Friday, health officials said they have learned of four more - two in Minnesota and one each in Arkansas and NY.

The patients who died were from Arkansas, California, Minnesota and NY. On Friday, health officials said they had learned of four more - one in Arkansas, one in NY, and two in Minnesota.

The outbreak was first reported on March 13, reports CNN.

Most E. coli bacteria are not harmful, but some produce toxins that can cause severe illness.




The growing season in the Yuma, Ariz., region, which produced the contaminated lettuce, ended April 16.

The CDC also noted that some people who became sick had not eaten romaine lettuce, but had close contact with someone else who get sick from eating it.

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

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

Of the infected people, 89 have been hospitalised and 26 have developed a kidney failure type known as hemolytic uremic syndrome.


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