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US cases of E. Coli possibly tied to romaine lettuce

A deadly strain of E. coli bacteria has made 17 people in the US and 41 in Canada sick. In both countries, one person has died from their infections.

Early CDC tests show that the bacteria making people sick in both countries is genetically related, meaning it’s more likely to be coming from a common source. The CDC says it is still trying to track down the source of the outbreak. But in Canada, health officials have linked the infections to a common food: romaine lettuce.

Because there still appears to be a risk of infection, the Public Health Agency of Canada says consumers in affected provinces should consider eating other types of lettuce until they have more information, such as where the lettuce came from and where it was sold.

In a recent news release, the CDC declined to offer any such specific advice, saying that because it hasn't found a source of the infections, it can't say whether US residents avoid any particular food.

Webmd.com reported on the symptoms of E. coli infections. They typically begin from 1 to 10 days after contact with the bacteria and include: nausea, vomiting, headaches, mild fever, severe stomach cramps and watery or bloody diarrhea.

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