CDC investigation update of the multistate outbreak of E. coli

Press Release

For Immediate Release: Thursday, July 12, 2018
Contact: Media Relations,
(404) 639-3286

A final CDC investigation update of the multistate outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 infections linked to romaine lettuce has been posted


  • As of June 28, 2018, this outbreak appears to be over.
  • CDC laboratory testing identified the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 in canal water samples taken from the Yuma growing region.
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is continuing to investigate the outbreak to learn more about how the E. coli bacteria could have entered the water and ways this water could have contaminated romaine lettuce. For the most recent information about that investigation, visit the FDA website at icon.
  • Since the last case count update on June 1, 2018, 13 more ill people were reported, bringing the total to 210 ill people from 36 states. This is the largest multistate outbreak of E. coli O157 infections since the 2006 outbreak linked to spinach.
  • The latest reported illness started on June 6, 2018. Some people who became sick did not report eating romaine lettuce, but had close contact with someone else who got sick from eating romaine lettuce.
  • Ninety-six people out of 201 with available information (48%) were hospitalized, including 27 who developed a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome.
  • A total of five deaths were reported – Arkansas (one), California (one), Minnesota (two), and New York (one). Contaminated lettuce that made people sick in this outbreak should no longer be available.

General E. coli Information:

  • People get sick from Shiga toxin-producing E. coli an average of 3 to 4 days after swallowing the germ. Most people get diarrhea (often bloody), severe stomach cramps and vomiting.
  • Most people recover within a week, but some illnesses can last longer and be more severe.
  • Talk to your doctor if you have symptoms of an E. coli infection and report your illness to your local health department.
  • E. coli infections also can spread from one person to another through germs on hands. To help prevent infection, wash hands after using the restroom or changing diapers, and before and after preparing or eating food.

If you have further questions about this outbreak, please call the CDC media line at (404) 639-3286. If you have questions about cases in a particular state, please call that state’s health department.


Page last reviewed: June 21, 2018