Americans told to toss romaine lettuce grown over E. coli fears

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Stay away from romaine lettuce.

The warning from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention covers all types of romaine lettuce from in and around Yuma, Arizona. The warning, which expanded from a prior notice urging buyers to throw out any store-bought chopped romaine lettuce, comes after new cases of E. coli were reported in Alaska.

Yuma County is responsible for 90 percent of all leafy vegetables grown in the US, from November to March, according to the county's Chamber of Commerce .

The latest data from the CDC shows that a total of 53 people have been affected by E. Coli in romaine lettuce across the United States.

Of the people who have been sickened, at least 31 have been hospitalized, including five who developed a type of potentially life-threatening kidney failure known as hemolytic uremic syndrome.

Restaurants and retailers should not serve or sell any romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Arizona growing region.

People at an Alaska correctional facility recently reported feeling ill after eating from whole heads of romaine lettuce.

Previously, CDC officials had only warned against chopped romaine by itself or as part of salads and salad mixes.

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No grower or distributor has been identified as the source of the outbreak, which has been traced to the Yuma, Ariz., area where California's major produce companies cultivate winter lettuce, according to the CDC.

Forty-one (95%) of 43 people interviewed reported eating romaine lettuce in the week before their illness started.

Wegmans pulled products that contained chopped romaine lettuce from its shelves on April 13.

Some kinds of E. coli cause disease by making a toxin called Shiga toxin.

If you have eaten romaine lettuce and have been experiencing similar symptoms, it's important to get to a doctor immediately.

Call a doctor if you have symptoms of an E. coli infection and report your illness to your local health department.

If you or a loved one have been sickened with an E. coli O157:H7 infection or HUS, contact our experienced attorneys for help at 1-888-377-8900.

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