Published: Thu, May 03, 2018
Health Care | By Oscar Goodwin

Calif. death reported in romaine lettuce E. coli outbreak

Calif. death reported in romaine lettuce E. coli outbreak

One person has died in the E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce.

There is no further information reported by the CDC on the death in Califonia as the California Department of Public Health said it can not provide any more details due to patient privacy laws.

The recent Escherichia coli (E. coli) outbreak linked to romaine lettuce is extremely virulent and has affected 22 states across the United States.

The total provided on Wednesday is up 23 cases from the C.D.C.'s last update on April 27, and Kentucky, Massachusetts and Utah reported their first cases.

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Health officials are continuing to investigate the outbreak but have not identified a single grower, farm, manufacturer, supplier or brand as the source of the E. coli contamination.

The CDC announced the outbreak on April 10, and has since warned consumers not to eat the leafy green unless they can definitively determine that it was not grown in or near Yuma. Product labels generally do not identify growing regions so it is best to avoid purchasing romaine lettuce from grocery stores. Fourteen people have developed a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome. This "tends to cause more severe illness, which may explain why there is a high hospitalization rate", the CDC said in its outbreak investigation update.

The death occurred in California and a total of 121 people from 25 states have been infected as of Tuesday, according the CDC said.

Is the romaine lettuce at your local grocer safe to eat?

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Efforts to determine the source of the romaine that was chopped are slow going because of shipping and receiving records through the supply chain that closely resemble a tangled ball of yarn that they do a paper trail.

Romaine lettuce grows near Soledad, California, U.S., May 3, 2017.

Restaurant operators and retailers should not serve or sell any romaine lettuce from the Yuma, AZ growing region. Symptoms often include diarrhea, severe stomach cramps and vomiting. The CDC advises anyone with these symptoms to seek medical attention as E. coli infection is typically diagnosed via a stool sample.

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