Death toll rises to 5 in USA tainted lettuce outbreak

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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.

Nationally, five people have died from E. coli poisoning from the tainted leafy greens; no deaths have been recorded in Texas.

Still, the CDC warns that iIllnesses that occurred after May 6, 2018 might not yet be reported due to the time it takes between when a person becomes ill and when the illness is reported.

In the spring, the CDC linked the outbreak to romaine lettuce grown in and around Yuma, Arizona. Among those who fell ill, 89 people were hospitalized.

The outbreak is the largest in the United States since 2006, when spinach tainted with a similar strain of E. coli sickened more than 200 people.

The patients who died were from 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.

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The U.S. Food And Drug Administration has said the harvest season for romaine lettuce is over.

"Some people who became sick did not report eating romaine lettuce, but had close contact with someone else who got sick from eating romaine lettuce".

Symptoms of E. coli vary, but include may include stomach cramps, fevers, bloody diarrhea and vomiting among others. Of those three cases, two developed a potentially fatal condition called hemolytic uremic syndrome that sometimes leads to kidney failure.

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

Most E. coli bacteria are not harmful, but some produce toxins that can cause severe illness.

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