E. Coli Outbreak Continues To Grow While Source Still Remains Unknown

Map posted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Map posted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The CDC report has also shown that this outbreak is greatly effecting more women than men.

They all assured me they're selling only romaine lettuce that wasn't grown in the Yuma, Ariz., growing region that has been implicated in themultistate E. coli outbreak.

The E. coli outbreak linked to tainted romaine lettuce has grown and sickened 84 people from 19 states, USA health officials said Wednesday.

While no deaths have been reported, half the cases required hospitalization.

But what had health officials so concerned is that there "is a higher hospitalization rate than usual for E. coli O157:H7 infections, which is usually around 30 percent".

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The CDC said 42 people have been hospitalized so far, including nine people who have developed a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome. Most people recover in five to seven days. "Health officials are working to determine why this strain is causing a higher percentage of hospitalizations", the agency said in a statement.

The agency last week issued a warning against eating all romaine lettuce.

Panera Bread officials told "CBS This Morning" they "don't comment on pending litigation", but said they "have re-supplied with romaine from other regions".

"The restaurant, the grocery store is responsible for any of the food that they sell you", said Marler.

While it's still a good idea for now to ask about the source of your romaine lettuce if you're not sure, keep in mind that the winter growing season for romaine lettuce in Arizona was already coming to an end earlier this month. By then, the contaminated lettuce may be long gone. "Don't buy it; don't eat it", said Dr. Laura Gieraltowski, of CDC's Foodborne Outbreak Response Team. As bagged lettuce and salad mixes become increasingly popular along with a spike in plant-based diets, the process in which farmers clean salads can actually trap bacteria inside the plants, where washing is of no help.

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