Published: Sun, June 03, 2018
Medical | By Marta Holmes

4 more deaths linked to romaine lettuce, 2 in Minnesota

4 more deaths linked to romaine lettuce, 2 in Minnesota

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.

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

The disease appears to have been spread from romaine lettuce grown in the Yuma region of Arizona. Two of the six people who became sick reported travelling to the USA before they became ill, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada.

It has been the nation's largest E. coli outbreak in a decade.

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According to a Time report, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported the four additional deaths include two people from Minnesota, a person from Arkansas, and a person from NY. On Friday, health officials said they had learned of four more - one in Arkansas, one in NY, and two in Minnesota.

The FDA initially said that only bagged and pre-chopped romaine lettuce that have been distributed to retailers across the country were contaminated with E. coli, but a group of inmates at a prison in Alaska also became sick after eating whole-head lettuce.

From E. coli in lettuce have died to 5 people.

Brendan Flaherty, a lawyer who is representing clients sickened in this outbreak, said, "Given the high number of hospitalizations, HUS cases, and deaths in this outbreak, consumers should continue to ask where the romaine lettuce they are buying comes from".

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Of those who became ill, about half had be hospitalized, with 26 developing a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome, the CDC said.

The reported strain of E. coli, which produces poisonous substances known as Shiga toxins, can cause severe stomach cramps, bloody diarrhea and vomiting.

The sweeping advisory came after information tied to some new illnesses prompted health officials to caution against eating all kinds of romaine lettuce that came from Yuma. Most of the people who got sick recently ate romaine lettuce in restaurants and stores.

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