Coli Death Is 1st Reported in Romaine Lettuce Outbreak

Coli Death Is 1st Reported in Romaine Lettuce Outbreak

With Kentucky, Massachusetts, and Utah now reporting cases, the number of states affected now stands at 25.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that the multi-state E. coli outbreak linked to contaminated romaine lettuce has resulted in its first death.

California has 24 known cases, more than any other states.

Last month, United States authorities took the unusual step of telling people to throw out any romaine lettuce they had, and not eat it unless they were sure it was not from the Yuma, Arizona area which grows most of the romaine lettuce sold in the country during winter.

The first death has been reported in a national food poisoning outbreak linked to romaine lettuce and MA has been added to the list of states where people have gotten sick.

And while the tainted romaine lettuce is thought to have originated from the Yuma region, "product labels often do not identify growing regions; so throw out any romaine lettuce if you're uncertain about where it was grown", the agency said in its warning.

The CDC is investigating the source of the outbreak, and said last week that it has identified at least one farm, Harrison Farms of Yuma, Arizona, that may have been a source of the germ.

So far, 52 people have been hospitalized and 14 people have developed kidney failure, the CDC reported. Signs of HUS include fatigue, decreased frequency of urination, and a loss of the normally pink color in the cheeks and inside the lower eyelids.

The agency also warned restaurants not to serve romaine lettuce to customers. Pennsylvania has claimed 20 cases, and Idaho 1 1; over eight years have not been reported by any other state.

The latest reported illness started on April 21, 2018. This strain of E. coli is especially virulent, hospitalizing 43% of those infected.

The latest illness onset was April 21, and the CDC said infections occurring after April 11 might not be reported yet, due to the average 2- to 3-week interval between symptom onset and case reporting.

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