Number of Texans sickened by E. coli from romaine lettuce rises

Number of Texans sickened by E. coli from romaine lettuce rises

Five people have now died in a major E. coli outbreak in the U.S. involving romaine lettuce, with 197 cases reported across 35 states.

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

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

The Food and Drug Administration, which is investigating the outbreak with the CDC, has said it believes it can be traced to romaine lettuce sourced from the Yuma growing region in Arizona.

However, the lettuce from that region is past its shelf life and is likely no longer being sold in stores or served in restaurants, the FDA said.

Some affected people did not report eating romaine lettuce, but had contact with those who fell ill after consuming the popular salad plant, the CDC said.

Overall, five deaths have been reported in 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 first illnesses occurred in March, and the most recent began on May 12, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Almost half of those who became ill had to be hospitalized.

After the initial outbreak, the CDC issued a warning on romaine lettuce.

A total of 89 people were hospitalized with 26 of them having developed a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome.

Symptoms of E. coli vary, but include may include stomach cramps, fevers, bloody diarrhea and vomiting among others.

As of May 30 the investigation figures show 197 people infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 have been reported from 35 states.

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