First death reported in E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce

This colorized 2006 scanning electron microscope image made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows E. coli bacteria of the O157:H7 strain that produces a powerful toxin which can cause illness. On Wednesday

On Wednesday U.S. health officials said California reported the first death in a national food poisoning outbreak linked to romaine lettuce.

Since April 27, the date of the CDC's last update, 23 additional people have been infected with the bacteria, and cases have been reported in three new states ― Kentucky, Massachusetts and Utah.

Restaurants and retailers are being told to not serve or sell romaine lettuce coming from the Yuma, Arizona region.

The death was reported in California. Another 10 ill people were added to the list, which now includes three new states in Kentucky, Massachusetts and Utah.

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The Washington Post said the outbreak is "approaching the scale of the 2006 baby spinach E. coli illness outbreak when 205 people became sick and five of them died". When it was first announced last month, it was confined to just seven states.

The CDC reiterated its advice of not eating or buying romaine lettuce, normally used in salads, unless the source of the lettuce can be confirmed. OH has three. New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Colorado each have two.

"Fifty-two people out of 102 with available information (51 per cent) have been hospitalised, including 14 who developed a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome", said the CDC report. The strain linked to chopped romain lettuce is a Shinga toxin-producing E. coli, which can cause severe stomach cramps, diarrhea and vomiting, the CDC said. The CDC says the average rate of hospitalization during E. coli outbreaks is typically much lower. This includes romaine in any form, including in a salad mix. Hemolytic uremic syndrome cause cause fatigue, fever, decreased urination, and unusual bruising or bleeding. Harrison was the source of the whole head romaine lettuce that sickened eight inmates at an Alaska prison. It's important to avoid romaine lettuce unless you are sure you know where it comes from. "If you can not confirm the source of the romaine lettuce, do not buy it or eat it".

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