E. coli map

The E. coli outbreak that killed five people is officially over.

ALTANTA, GEORGIA—The Centers for Disease Control and the Food and Drug Administration have officially ended the E. coli outbreak that began last month in Yuma, Arizona.

E. coli is a type of bacteria that can cause bloody diarrhea, severe abdominal cramps, vomiting and low-grade fever.

The announcement was made on June 28 on the CDC’s website, which stated that the outbreak “appears to be over.” On April 20, the CDC advised the entire United States to throw away any romaine lettuce in all of its forms, including chopped and whole head, if the source of the lettuce was from Yuma, Arizona, or unknown. This included those at grocers, restaurants and at-home consumers.

“According to the FDA, the last shipments of romaine lettuce from the Yuma growing region were harvested on April 16, 2018, and the harvest season there has ended. Contaminated lettuce that made people sick in this outbreak should no longer be available,” the CDC stated in a news release.

According to www.cdc.gov, the CDC completed an investigation into the source of the E. coli outbreak last month.

“The FDA and state and local regulatory officials traced the romaine lettuce to many farms in the Yuma growing region,” the website stated. “The FDA, along with CDC and state partners, started an environmental assessment in the Yuma growing region and collected samples of water, soil, and manure.

“CDC laboratory testing identified the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 in water samples taken from a canal in the Yuma growing region. WGS showed that the E. coli O157:H7 found in the canal water is closely related genetically to the E. coli O157:H7 from ill people. Laboratory testing for other environmental samples is continuing.

“FDA is continuing to investigate to learn more about how the E. coli bacteria could have entered the water and ways this water could have contaminated romaine lettuce in the region.”

The CDC also released data on the number of people who were affected by the outbreak.

“210 people infected with the outbreak strain were reported from 36 states,” the announcement stated. “96 people were hospitalized, including 27 people who developed a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome. 5 deaths were reported from Arkansas, California, Minnesota (2), and New York.”

More than a dozen Idahoans became sick through contact with romaine lettuce that carried the strain, but none of them died as a result.

For more information on health risks in the United States, visit www.cdc.gov.