An E. coli outbreak that health investigators believe is linked to chopped romaine lettuce has expanded, with 53 cases now reported in 16 states, and nearly three dozen hospitalized, at least five of whom suffered kidney failure.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention added 18 more cases to the total in its update Wednesday, a marked increase since the prior update less than a week earlier, and said five more states reported sick people: Alaska, Arizona, California, Louisiana and Montana.
Officials believe the contaminated lettuce was grown in Yuma, Arizona, though they have not identified a grower, supplier, distributor or brand.
Cases have been reported across the tri-state area, the most in New Jersey (7); New York and Connecticut have three cases each. Pennsylvania has the most (12) in this outbreak, followed by Idaho (10).