According to the most recent report from the US Centers from Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 25 more people have become ill from E. coli infections linked to romaine lettuce since the previous update on 16 May.
The CDC said that three more states – Arkansas, North Carolina and Oklahoma – have reported ill people and four more deaths have been reported: one in Arkansas, two in Minnesota and one in New York.
Reportedly, 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 people’s homes. The CDC said that some people who became sick did not report eating romaine lettuce but had contact with someone else who got sick from eating it.
Advice to travellers is that if they have symptoms of an E. coli infection, they should take action and talk to their healthcare provider. They are also advised to wash hands regularly, especially after visiting the bathroom, before and after preparing or eating food, and after contact with animals.
The CDC said that state and local health officials are continuing to interview ill people about the food they ate and other exposures they had before they became ill. Eighty-nine per cent of the 158 people interviewed reported eating romaine lettuce in the week before they fell ill. The investigation is ongoing, and the CDC will provide more information as it becomes available.