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

Of those three cases, two developed a potentially fatal condition called hemolytic uremic syndrome that sometimes leads to kidney failure.

Two of the victims were from Minnesota, with the other three from Arkansas, California and NY.

Since mid-May, "four more deaths were reported, bringing the total to five deaths from Arkansas (1), California (1), Minnesota (2), and NY (1)", the CDC said in a statement.

The Food and Drug Administration, which is investigating the outbreak with the CDC, has said it believes it can be traced to romaine lettuce sourced from the Yuma growing region in Arizona.

In the update Friday on the nation's largest E. coli outbreak in a decade, health officials said 25 new cases have been added, and at least 89 people were hospitalized.

"It is unlikely that any romaine lettuce from the Yuma growing region is still available in stores or restaurants, due to its 21-day shelf life", said the FDA. In total, 197 people across 35 states have become sick since March 13.

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Almost half of those who became ill had to be hospitalized.

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.

Meanwhile, government authorities are still trying to figure out how and why the outbreak happened. This is the worst multistate outbreak since 2006, when contaminated spinach was linked to 238 illnesses and five deaths.

The growing season in the Yuma, Ariz., region, which produced the contaminated lettuce, ended April 16.

Symptoms of E. coli vary, but include may include stomach cramps, fevers, bloody diarrhea and vomiting among others.

Most people recover within a week, but some illnesses can last longer and be more severe.

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