St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM News) - The Minnesota Department of Health is reporting that ten illnesses in the state have been linked to the nationwide E. coli outbreak associated with romaine lettuce.

All ten people who developed E. coli illness became sick between April 20 and May 2. 9 were female and 3 required hospitalization, including two patients who developed a potentially life-threatening complication known as hemolytic uremic syndrome, or HUS. Health officials stress that diarrhea associated with exposure to E. coli bacteria should not be treated with antibiotics because that could promote the development of HUS.

All of the Minnesota cases had eaten romaine lettuce served at restaurants and residential facilities or purchased in grocery stores.

“Do not eat, buy, or sell romaine lettuce unless you can confirm it is not from the Yuma growing region,” said Kirk Smith, manager of the Foodborne, Waterborne, Vectorborne, and Zoonotic Diseases section. “The Yuma growing region includes part of western Arizona and extends into the Imperial Valley of southeastern California, but does not include Salinas Valley or other growing regions in California.”

Lettuce from the Yuma region should no longer be for sale, but officials say packages of the product could still be stored in refrigerators and extreme caution is advised when eating any food containing romaine lettuce.

Additional information on the national outbreak can be found on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and FDA websites: CDC: E. coli and FDA Investigating Multistate Outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 Infections Likely Linked to Romaine Lettuce from Yuma Growing Region.

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