Minnesota Team Diarrhea Weighs in on Romaine Lettuce E. coli Outbreak

Sixty-four people have been hospitalized, the CDC said, and 17 of those have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a form of kidney failure. The ill people range in age from 1 to 88 years old. The rest of the cases involve chopped lettuce that did not come from the Yuma farm, according to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration.

The six Canadian illnesses were reported between late March and mid-April in four provinces - one each in British Columbia and Alberta and two each in Saskatchewan and Ontario.

It's unclear where or how many people have been infected in Florida.

A farm in Yuma, Arizona was affirmed as a general source of whole-head romaine which sickened eight inmates in Alaska however, FDA officials say they aren't certain if the contamination occured in the field or in the packaging and distribution side. The largest American E. coli flare-up since 2006, when contaminated spinach was the culprit, is expected to continue for several weeks. One death, previously reported, occurred in California.

Today the federal agency added 28 more people from 12 states, including Texas, to the list of those sickened by the bacterial outbreak first reported in early April.

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Most people recover within a week, but some illnesses can last longer and be more severe. Product labels don't always identify where it was grown. The source of the lettuce isn't typically marked on the packaging, so if there's doubt it should be thrown out, the CDC said.

Food safety expert at the University of Arizona, Dr. Paula Rivadeneira says it still fits the timeline since the romaine lettuce has a 21-day shelf life, "it still fits the timeline", of being affected by it.

Consumers are being warned not to eat or buy romaine lettuce grown in Yuma, as contaminated lettuce could still be in homes, stores and restaurants.

Diarrhea associated with E. coli O157 infections should not be treated with antibiotics, as this practice might promote the development of HUS. Thus far, the outbreak has hit people in 25 states, eventually prompting the CDC to tell people to just stop eating romaine lettuce entirely.

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