California reports 1st death in romaine lettuce E. coli outbreak

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CDC believes that the outbreak may continue because of the time between when a person becomes ill with E. coli and when the illness is reported to CDC.

The death, first from this outbreak, was reported from California, according to CDC.

The government now has reports of 121 people who got sick in 25 states.

Almost half of those reporting illness, 52, have been hospitalized, which is a higher-than-usual hospitalization rate.

A nationwide outbreak of E. coli linked to romaine lettuce has now claimed a life, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday.

So far, illnesses include 24 cases in California, 20 cases in Pennsylvania, 11 in Idaho, eight cases each in Alaska, Arizona, and Montana, seven in New Jersey, six in Washington, four cases each in Georgia and MI, three in OH, two cases each in Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts and NY, and a single case each in Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin.

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The agency and public health officials have urged retailers to remove romaine lettuce sourced from Yuma and restaurants to stop serving the lettuce.

The death occurred in California, and 23 more ill people from 10 states were added to previous estimates in the investigation that has been ongoing since March. All romaine from the farm linked to Alaska's cases was harvested between Mar 5 and Mar 16, and health officials said last week that the facility is now growing grass.

Fifty-two people out of 102 with available information have been hospitalized, including 14 who developed a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome.

On average, symptoms of E. coli begin three to four days after consuming the bacteria, and the symptoms include stomach cramps, diarrhea, and vomiting.

In other foodborne illness outbreak developments, the FDA said yesterday that the recalled shell eggs implicated in a multistate Salmonella Braenderup outbreak were also distributed to the US Virgin Islands and other overseas locations including several Caribbean locations (Bahamas, Haiti, Aruba, Cayman Islands, Saint martin, Turks & Caicos, Saint Barthelemy), as well at the United Arab Emirates and Hong Kong. This includes romaine in any form, including in a salad mix. "The restaurants reported using bagged, chopped romaine lettuce to make salads".

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