E. coli outbreak linked to Wendy's spreads to New York and Kentucky

An outbreak of E. coli bacterium infections in the United States has extended to New York and Kentucky, joining a group of six states where symptoms have been found.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced 13 new cases on Thursday, bringing the total number of people afflicted to 97 as of the end of August.

Some have experienced more serious effects, including 43 hospitalizations. The majority of the diseases have occurred in Michigan, with one each in New York and Kentucky.

"The real number of sick patients in this epidemic is likely larger than the number reported," the CDC said in a statement.

While the CDC has not yet proven a link to a specific item, many of people who fell ill had eaten at Wendy's in the previous week.

Wendy's has stated that it has eliminated sandwich lettuce from hundreds of outlets around the Midwest. Representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the new infections on Friday.