CDC confirms five deaths connected to E. coli-tainted lettuce

In an update Friday health officials said 25 more cases raised the total to 197 illnesses in 35 states. At least 89 were hospitalized

That brings the total death count from the recent E. coli outbreak to five.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed 25 new cases, across 13 states, related to the E. coli outbreak, which affected romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Ariz., growing region. That being said, the CDC continues to investigate the outbreak and warned that new cases from May could still come to light due to a three-week lag in reporting. At least 89 people were hospitalized.

The patients who died were from Arkansas, California, Minnesota and NY. Canadian health officials also recently identified E. coli cases in several provinces that could potentially be linked to the outbreak in the United States.

Romaine lettuce from the Yuma growing region in Arizona is thought to be the source of the latest outbreak, although the Food and Drug Administration says no single grower, distributor or region can account for the spread. There have been 197 people sickened in 35 states, the CDC report said. Young children and adults have a greater risk of developing a form of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome, which is life-threatening.

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Numerous new cases were people who became ill two to three weeks ago, when contaminated lettuce was still being sold.

"Some people who became sick did not report eating romaine lettuce, but had close contact with someone else who got sick from eating romaine lettuce".

Sickness can begin three to four days after swallowing E. coli, with symptoms of diarrhea, severe stomach cramps and vomiting.

The recent E. coli outbreak is the most severe to hit the USA since 2006, when three people died in an outbreak linked to uncooked spinach.

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