More deaths in the E. coli outbreak tied to romaine lettuce

5 dead and nearly 200 sickened in romaine lettuce outbreak

The Arizona growing season is long over so it's unlikely any tainted romaine lettuce is still in stores

In addition, officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated the case count: 197 people from 35 states were sickened.

Nationally, five people have died from E. coli poisoning from the tainted leafy greens; no deaths have been recorded in Texas.

The latest batch of illnesses are believed to be linked to romaine lettuce grown in the Yuma, Arizona region.

Most new cases involve people who became sick two or three weeks ago, when the tainted lettuce was still available for sale.

However, the investigation continues and the US Food and Drug Administration has said "the illnesses associated with this outbreak can not be explained by a single grower, harvester, processor, or distributor".

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Two deaths from the current outbreak occurred in Minnesota, and one each in Arkansas, California, and NY. On Friday, health officials said they had learned of four more - one in Arkansas, one in NY, and two in Minnesota. The lettuce was harvested on April 16, 2018 and harvest season is now over.

According to the Mayo Clinic, O157 E.coli symptoms include diarrhea, which could be bloody, as well as abdominal cramping or pain, and in some people, nausea.

The CDC also noted that some people who became sick had not eaten romaine lettuce, but had close contact with someone else who get sick from eating it.

Of the infected people, 89 have been hospitalised, and 26 have developed a kidney failure type known as hemolytic uremic syndrome.

Almost half of those who became ill had to be hospitalized. This is the worst multistate outbreak since 2006, when contaminated spinach was linked to 238 illnesses and five deaths.

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