One person has died in the United States and one in Canada, Consumer Reports said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating the outbreak, which has affected 13 states. The agency says they cannot yet link the outbreak of E. Coli to a certain type of food. State and local public health officials are interviewing sick people in the US.
Consumer Reports advises that people should throw away any romaine lettuce they have, and do not buy any more, until the outbreak’s cause has been determined.
The CDC last reported on the outbreak on December 28, NBC News reports. It said 17 people were sick in those 13 states, dating back to November. The Public Health Agency of Canada has reported on 41 illnesses and say the cases are related to romaine lettuce.
E. Coli O157:H7 can produce Shiga toxins, which can cause severe stomach cramps, bloody diarrhea and vomiting. The most dangerous effect is hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure.
“Very young children and the elderly are more likely to develop severe illness and HUS than others, but even healthy older children and young adults can become seriously ill,” the CDC advises.