E. coli outbreak still affecting the USA and Montana

Factfile explaining where E. coli bacteria are found how infection spreads and how it can be avoided

Of the people sickened, 52 have been hospitalized, 14 of them with kidney failure. The first two cases in this outbreak involved people who reported becoming sick on March 13, according to the CDC.

Three more states - Kentucky, Massachusetts and Utah- have reported cases, the CDC said in an email.

Health officials have tied the E. Coli outbreak to romaine lettuce grown in Yuma, Arizona, which provides romaine around the country during the winter and limited areas during the spring, so the lettuce on your grocery shelves is not likely from Yuma, but the Centers for Disease Control recommends throwing away any *romaine* lettuce of unknown origin. The bacteria normally live in the intestines of animals, including cows and pigs, and in the 1990s, most E. coli illnesses were associated with contaminated hamburger.

One death has been recorded after a national food poisoning outbreak linked to romaine lettuce. "I mean, candidly, that's ridiculous". The CDC advised restaurants and consumers to avoid romaine unless they confirm it was grown in a different region. California has the most number of cases with 24, followed by Pennsylvania with 20 and Idaho with 11. The newest update includes illnesses starting as recently as April 21. Numerous people sickened across the country consumed chopped lettuce that had been sold in bagged form to restaurants.

"This is a higher hospitalization rate than usual for E. coli O157:H7 infections, which is usually around 30%".

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has received confirmation from the Arizona Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement administered by the Arizona Department of Agriculture that "romaine lettuce is no longer being produced and distributed from the Yuma growing region [one of the confirmed sources], reducing the potential for exposure to the contaminated product".

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