5 dead, nearly 200 sickened in romaine lettuce outbreak Johnson City Press

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It can take a while for case reports to make their way to the federal level from state and local officials, and people often do not die right away from complicated E. coli infections.

Two of the victims were from Minnesota, with the other three from Arkansas, California and NY.

"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. The total number of deaths from the outbreak has reached five.

In the past two weeks an additional 25 people have also become ill from eating the contaminated lettuce, the CDC announced.

From E. coli in lettuce have died to 5 people.

"Promptly after the advisory was issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on April 13, 2018, we removed all romaine originating from the Yuma growing region from our cafes, and began looking for a new source", Panera said on its website, noting that it now sources its romaine lettuce from California.

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Most E. coli bacteria are harmless, but one strain, called E. coli O157:H7, can cause severe disease.

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. It may cause severe stomach cramps, bloody diarrhea and vomiting. They still say that it's a good idea to ask where the romaine you may buy or eat comes from to confirm it is not from Yuma. Twenty-six of those patients developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a form of kidney failure.

As before, a large percentage, 89%, of people interviewed said they ate romaine lettuce the week before they got sick.

Officials are saying that it is "unlikely" that any romaine lettuce from Yuma is still in stores or restaurants.

The CDC estimates that foodborne illnesses affect 47.8 million people in the USA every year, putting 127,000 into the hospital and killing more than 3,000.

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