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Texas added to list of states reporting E. coli outbreak form lettuce

New CDC Stats Show 1 E. coli Case in Texas

A major outbreak in the US of E. coli linked to Arizona-grown Romaine lettuce is now affecting 29 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). People have gotten sick from April 20th through May 2nd, but the CDC says all evidence suggests that all illnesses are some way connected through romaine grown in the Yuma region. "If you do not know if the lettuce in a salad mix is romaine, do not eat it".

The CDC, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and states are continuing to investigate the outbreak, which began March 13.

Florida, Minnesota, North Dakota and Texas have joined the list of states reporting at least one E. coli illness linked to the outbreak. It may be because people in those states eat more romaine lettuce, or are eat out more frequently.

Health officials have tied the outbreak to romaine lettuce grown in Yuma, Arizona, which provides most of the romaine sold in the USA during the winter.

The FDA confirms romaine lettuce is no longer being produced or distributed from the Yuma, Arizona growing region. The growing season in Yuma ended about a month ago, said the University of Arizona's Russell Engel, the director of Yuma County's cooperative extension service, but investigators have yet to isolate a possible brand or supplier. Symptoms of the bacteria-borne infection include diarrhea that can be bloody, severe stomach cramps, and vomiting. People typically become ill two to five days after exposure, but this period can range from one to eight days.

The CDC cautions against the use of antibiotics when dealing with this strain of E. coli because studies have connected antibiotic use with an increased risk for hemolytic uremic syndrome in both children and adults.

"This is a higher hospitalization rate than usual for E. coli O157:H7 infections, which is usually around 30 percent", the agency said. One person, who lived in California, has died. The products may include baby and organic romaine, salad mixes, whole head, chopped lettuce and hearts of romaine. But the other 141 cases are still not linked to a farm, processor, distributor, grocery store, or restaurant.