CDC: E.coli Outbreak Threat Likely Over Soon

Seven more cases of E. coli illnesses bring to 24 the total number of cases in an outbreak affecting 15 states, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday.

There has been one death and nine people have been hospitalized, including two with kidney failure, CNN reported.

The CDC also said that cases have been reported in two more states, Maryland and New Jersey. Cases were previously reported in California, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia and Washington.

All of the people in the outbreak began feeling ill between Nov. 15 and Dec. 12, about the same time that an E. coli outbreak began in Canada. That outbreak, which Canadian health officials declared over on Wednesday, affected 42 people. One of them died.

Canadian health officials linked the outbreak to romaine lettuce. The outbreak in the U.S. involves the same E. coli strain as the outbreak in Canada, but American officials haven't pinpointed the source of the U.S. outbreak, CNN reported.

"The likely source of the outbreak in the United States appears to be leafy greens, but officials have not specifically identified a type of leafy greens eaten by people who became ill," the CDC said Wednesday.

The agency also said the U.S. outbreak may soon be over.

"Leafy greens typically have a short shelf life, and since the last illness started a month ago, it is likely that contaminated leafy greens linked to this outbreak are no longer available for sale," according to the CDC.

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