Romaine lettuce outbreak sickens 98 people in 22 states, including Wisconsin

Romaine lettuce grows near Soledad California U.S

Fourteen more sick people from eight U.S. states were added to an investigation of an E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Friday. Nearly half of the 98 people who are sick have had to go to the hospital, but no one has died.

So far, 46 people have been hospitalized, including 10 with kidney failure from this breakout.

No deaths have been reported in this outbreak.

So for now, the CDC is telling consumers to not eat or buy romaine lettuce unless you can confirm it is not from the Yuma, Arizona growing region.

"As soon as we were notified of the updated CDC Advisory, we immediately began working with our suppliers to identify romaine products from Yuma Arizona, and instructed our stores to pull them". The agency expanded its warning from just chopped romaine to any and all forms of the lettuce - whole romaine, romaine in mixed salads, etc.

This is the most significant Shiga-toxin producing E.coli break out considering that a 2006 break out connected to spinach grown in the Salinas Valley in California, Wise stated. "Most people reported eating a salad at a restaurant, and romaine lettuce was the only common ingredient identified among the salads eaten". That farm's harvest has ended, Harris said.

The E. coli bacterium can cause bloody diarrhea, vomiting and cramps.

At this time of year, lettuce from both parts of the country may be on grocery store shelves or restaurant plates. A total of five E. coli illness cases in Washington have been linked to the national outbreak.

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Twenty-two states have reported E.coli infections linked ot the outbreak according to the CDC and FDA.

Though the growing season in Yuma, AZ, the apparent source of the outbreak, is over, experts said they couldn't be sure the threat had passed.

Izabella Radovich of Wilton, California, was among those who got sick from eating contaminated salad.

The variety of health problems connected to Arizona romaine lettuce polluted with E. coli has actually increased once again, from 84 cases Wednesday to 98 on Friday.

Speaking at the news briefing, he stressed that other area farms could also be affected.

The CDC stressed that E. coli illness can be very serious, even deadly. At this time, the FDA does not know how the bacteria ended up on Harrison Farms nor do officials know at what point in the growing, harvesting, packaging and distribution process the romaine became contaminated.

The US Food and Drug Administration is investigating at least two dozen farms as possible sources.

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