Published: Mon, July 02, 2018
Medical | By Marta Holmes

Coli in Deadly Romaine Lettuce Outbreak Finally Found

Coli in Deadly Romaine Lettuce Outbreak Finally Found

On June 28, 2018 the FDA stated that an environmental assessment in the Yuma, Arizona growing region, where officials think the contaminated lettuce is from, found the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 in Canada water.

The US Food and Drug Administration, along with the CDC and various state partners, then traced the outbreak back to a single growing region: Yuma, Arizona, which calls itself the "Winter Lettuce Capital of the World".

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"The E. coli O157:H7 found in the canal water is closely related genetically to the E. coli O157:H7 from ill people", the CDC said in a final update on the outbreak.

Three months ago a nationwide warning was issued to avoid eating romaine lettuce because a lot of it had been contaminated with e-coli bacteria. Single deaths were reported from Arkansas, California and NY, and two people died in Minnesota.

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The FDA continues their investigation to find out how the bacteria got in the water and, consequently, how the water contaminated the romaine lettuce. The latest tally from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 96 people were hospitalized, including 27 who developed a type of severe kidney failure that can be life-threatening to people with weak immune systems, such as young children and the elderly. There are cases in 36 states: Alabama (3) Alaska (8), Arkansas (1), Arizona (9), California (49), Colorado (3), CT (2), Florida (3), Georgia (5), Idaho (12), IL (2), Iowa (1), Kentucky (1), Louisiana (1), MA (4), MI (5), Minnesota (12), MS (1), Missouri (1), Montana (9), Nebraska (1), New Jersey (8), NY (11), North Carolina (1), North Dakota (3), OH (7), Oklahoma (1), OR (1), Pennsylvania (24), South Dakota (1), Tennessee (3), Texas (4), Utah (1), Virginia (1), Washington (8), and Wisconsin (3).

The last large E. coli outbreak like this involved spinach grown in California in 2006. A new cluster was reported the next day.

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None of the people who received the vaccine became ill, according to the Congolese health ministry, The Times reported. Other canals are being tested, but no results have been announced. Only a few can cause diarrhea, severe infections like pneumonia, or death.

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