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Four More Deaths, One In New York, Reported In E. Coli Outbreak, CDC Says

Federal investigators are searching for answers on the E. coli outbreak that has now resulted in five deaths and about 200 sicknesses in 36 states.
Federal investigators are searching for answers on the E. coli outbreak that has now resulted in five deaths and about 200 sicknesses in 36 states. Photo Credit: CDC

Federal investigators are searching for answers on the E. coli outbreak that has now resulted in five deaths and about 200 sicknesses in 36 states.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced the new statistics on Friday, more than two months after the first illnesses, linked to romaine lettuce, occurred in mid-March.

It's the worst outbreak since 2006, when 205 people became ill and five died after contracting E. coli from baby spinach.

Twenty-five more ill people from 13 states and four new fatalities were added to the investigation since mid-May, the CDC said.

One of the deaths occurred in New York, where 10 illnesses have been reported. For a case count by state, click here.

It takes two to three weeks between when a person becomes ill with E. coli and when the illness is reported to CDC.

Most of the people who recently became ill ate romaine lettuce when lettuce from the Yuma growing region was likely still available in stores, restaurants, or in peoples’ homes.

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.

Any contaminated product from the Yuma growing region has already worked its way through the food supply and is no longer available for consumption, so any immediate risk is gone, the Food & Drug Administration said.

The FDA said it is committed to investigating the source of the outbreak and working with industry to help prevent similar events in the future.

To read the CDC update, click here.

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