Five deaths, 197 illnesses in ongoing E. coli outbreak tied to romaine lettuce

An additional 25 people have become ...

Posted: Jun 2, 2018 8:33 AM
Updated: Jun 2, 2018 8:33 AM

An additional 25 people have become ill from eating lettuce contaminated with E. coli, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Friday.

In total, 197 people across 35 states have become ill since March 13, including five people who died.

The multistate outbreak has claimed the lives of five people

Most of the newly reported sick people became ill when contaminated lettuce was still available

Symptoms, which begin about three to four days after consuming the bacteria, can include watery or bloody diarrhea, fever, abdominal cramps, nausea and vomiting, according to the CDC. Most people infected by the bacteria get better within five to seven days.

Of the total 187 patients for whom information was available, 89 (or 48%) were hospitalized, including 26 who developed a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome. Symptoms of this syndrome include fever, abdominal pain, fatigue, small unexplained bruises or bleeding, and pallor. Most people recover within a few weeks, but some suffer permanent damage or die.

To avoid E. coli infections, experts advise thoroughly cooking meat, avoiding unpasteurized dairy products and juices, avoiding swallowing water while swimming and washing hands regularly.

The US Food and Drug Administration, which is investigating the outbreak alongside the CDC, believes that the probable link to all these illnesses is romaine lettuce sourced from the winter growing areas in and around the Yuma growing region in Arizona.

"The traceback investigation indicates that the illnesses associated with this outbreak cannot be explained by a single grower, harvester, processor, or distributor. While traceback continues, the FDA will focus on trying to identify factors that contributed to contamination of romaine across multiple supply chains," the FDA said in a statement Thursday.

Romaine lettuce from this area is no longer available in stores or restaurants, according to the FDA.

"The agency is examining all possibilities, including that contamination may have occurred at any point along the growing, harvesting, packaging, and distribution chain before reaching consumers," the statement said.

Most of the newly reported sick people became ill within the period when contaminated romaine lettuce was still available. Some patients did not report eating the lettuce, though they had close contact with someone else who'd become infected.

This is the largest outbreak of its kind since a deadly E. coli outbreak in 2006 that was linked to spinach. Unlike spinach, which is often cooked, romaine -- and lettuce in general -- is more common as a culprit in E. coli outbreaks because it's eaten raw.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 98447

Reported Deaths: 2072
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin27557932
Ramsey11167323
Dakota7692126
Anoka6281137
Stearns409424
Washington391855
Scott264833
Olmsted253528
Nobles197916
Blue Earth17366
St. Louis172542
Wright17017
Carver14467
Clay142441
Rice13478
Mower13446
Sherburne117714
Kandiyohi10563
Winona92018
Lyon7334
Waseca7228
Benton5633
Steele5552
Crow Wing55418
Nicollet54717
Freeborn5464
Watonwan5354
Chisago5171
Todd5072
McLeod5022
Le Sueur4764
Otter Tail4694
Beltrami4605
Martin44611
Goodhue3899
Pine3550
Douglas3522
Itasca35215
Polk3274
Isanti3191
Becker2842
Carlton2791
Morrison2702
Dodge2610
Pipestone23810
Chippewa2321
Cottonwood2290
Meeker2132
Wabasha2060
Sibley2023
Yellow Medicine1982
Brown1962
Cass1864
Rock1810
Redwood1783
Murray1742
Mille Lacs1693
Renville1618
Jackson1531
Unassigned15352
Faribault1470
Swift1441
Fillmore1330
Houston1300
Kanabec1288
Roseau1260
Koochiching1233
Hubbard1221
Pennington1201
Lincoln1180
Stevens1071
Pope1000
Aitkin841
Big Stone830
Wadena730
Wilkin713
Lac qui Parle681
Grant634
Lake600
Norman560
Marshall531
Mahnomen491
Red Lake451
Traverse340
Clearwater310
Lake of the Woods241
Kittson120
Cook70

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 87828

Reported Deaths: 1332
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk16113264
Woodbury559768
Johnson517927
Black Hawk454192
Linn4163114
Story348517
Dubuque340242
Scott309528
Dallas282938
Pottawattamie220139
Buena Vista200312
Marshall179434
Sioux17073
Wapello134157
Webster131714
Plymouth118221
Clinton113921
Muscatine112855
Crawford11086
Cerro Gordo106421
Warren9696
Jasper87034
Des Moines8068
Henry7734
Marion7728
Tama75332
Carroll6955
Lee6527
Wright5971
Dickinson5426
Boone5268
Bremer5067
Washington48511
Delaware4413
Louisa43415
Mahaska42720
Lyon3754
Jackson3583
Floyd3573
Franklin35218
Clay3434
Winneshiek3408
Benton3381
Hamilton3343
Winnebago32313
Hardin3111
Poweshiek3118
Buchanan2921
Jones2893
Kossuth2860
Butler2792
Emmet27510
Chickasaw2701
Shelby2701
Clarke2693
Clayton2683
Sac2670
Allamakee2656
Guthrie2649
Harrison2593
Cherokee2572
Cedar2531
Fayette2382
Madison2342
Grundy2294
Iowa2221
Palo Alto2080
Hancock1992
Mitchell1970
Humboldt1943
Howard1927
Mills1911
Page1910
Calhoun1883
Osceola1770
Cass1762
Pocahontas1662
Monona1621
Monroe16211
Lucas1566
Appanoose1443
Union1423
Jefferson1401
Taylor1341
Davis1284
Ida1281
Fremont1220
Keokuk1191
Van Buren1181
Worth1090
Greene1050
Montgomery995
Audubon891
Wayne882
Adair731
Decatur670
Ringgold532
Adams330
Unassigned140
Rochester
Scattered Clouds
55° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 55°
Mason City
Few Clouds
58° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 58°
Albert Lea
Clear
57° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 57°
Austin
Scattered Clouds
57° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 57°
Charles City
Scattered Clouds
57° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 57°
Winds pick up for Wednesday
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Community Events