- Four more deaths have been reported in the multi-state E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce from Yuma, Arizona, the CDC confirmed in a June 1 update. On Friday, health officials said they have learned of four more - two in Minnesota and one each in Arkansas and NY. Five deaths have been reported from Arkansas (1), California (1), Minnesota (2), and NY (1).
"We are actively evaluating a number of theories about how romaine lettuce grown on multiple farms in the same growing region could have become contaminated around the same time", Dr. Scott Gottlieb and Dr. Stephen Ostroff wrote.
So far, five people in MI have been sickened in the outbreak.
"Most of the newly reported cases are people who became sick two to three weeks ago, still within the window when contaminated romaine was available for sale", said the CDC statement.
So far, across 35 states, a total of 197 people contracted an infection from the tainted Romaine lettuce.
Romaine lettuce from the Yuma growing region in Arizona is thought to be the source of the latest outbreak, although the Food and Drug Administration said no single grower, distributor or region could account for the spread.
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The E. coli lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of E. coli and other foodborne illness infections and have recovered over $650 million for clients. Eighty-nine of the cases required hospitalization, 26 of those cases involved a potentially lethal kidney failure, and five cases resulted in death.
The FDA said it may take a while to find out how the bacteria got into so much of the romaine lettuce supply.
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.
But in early spring, Yuma is the main source for lettuce sold across much of the U.S. Symptoms can include bloody diarrhea, vomiting and severe stomach cramps. Most people infected by the bacteria get better within five to seven days.
For most, recovery will occur within a week, but more severe cases last longer.