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The strain of E. coli bacteria that contaminated romaine lettuce and was tied to the deaths of five people was found in a tainted irrigation canal in Arizona, federal officials said on Thursday.

The outbreak appeared to be over, more than three months after the first illnesses were recorded, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

Samples of canal water in the Yuma area of Arizona were found to contain the same genetic strain of E. coli that caused the outbreak, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, commissioner of the federal Food and Drug Administration, said in a statement.

The article goes on to state the following:

Questions remain about how the bacteria ended up in the canal.

“More work needs to be done to determine just how and why this strain of E. coli O157:H7 could have gotten into this body of water and how that led to contamination of romaine lettuce from multiple farms,” Dr. Gottlieb said.

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