The E.coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Arizona, growing region has taken the life of one person and sickened an additional 23, bringing the total number of infections to 121 since the outbreak began in March, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To date, infections have been reported in 25 states.
A California resident who consumed the romaine lettuce and developed E.coli infection died. It is the first known fatality connected to the multistate E.coli outbreak. Fifty-two of those sickened were hospitalized and 14 developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a serious complication of E.coli.
The CDC is investigating the outbreak along with officials from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Both agencies are advising the public not to serve or sell any romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Arizona, growing region, including whole heads and hearts of romaine, chopped romaine, baby romaine, organic romaine, and salads and salad mixes containing romaine lettuce.
Investigators have yet to identify a single grower, farm, manufacturer, supplier or brand as the source of the E.coli outbreak. However, Harrison Farms in Yuma has been identified as the grower of the whole heads of romaine that sickened eight inmates at a correctional facility in Nome, Alaska.
E.coli symptoms vary from person to person but often include severe stomach cramps and bloody diarrhea. If there is fever, it is usually not very high (less than 101 degrees). Most people get better within five to seven days. Some infections are mild, but some can be severe or even life threatening.