At least 2 deaths and over 200 cases of E. coli in German outbreakMay 27th, 2011 - 9:02 pm ICT by BNO News
BERLIN, GERMANY (BNO NEWS) — With over 200 cases in Germany due to an E. coli outbreak, the European Commission’s Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed identified organic cucumbers from two provinces of Spain as a confirmed source responsible for the outbreak.
According to the the United Nation’s World Health Organization (WHO), the outbreak includes the death of three women and 276 cases of haemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS), which is usually caused by complication of an infection by particular E. coli. The European Union (EU), meanwhile, said the E. coli outbreak has caused two deaths and a total of 214 cases.
Ongoing EU investigations revealed that the two Spanish regions producing organic cucumbers with E. coli were Almeria and Malaga, while a third suspected batch of cucumbers originating in the Netherlands and traded in Germany is also under investigation.
Meanwhile, Spanish authorities have focused their efforts on pinpointing the exact site of production of the organic cucumbers in question.
The outbreak has namely affected Germany, but according to the EU’s numbers, Sweden has reported 10 cases, Denmark four, the UK three and the Netherlands one.
The outbreak affects mainly Germany’s Hamburg area, while most of the cases reported outside Germany concern either German nationals visiting the other affected Member States or persons who had been visiting Germany.
While most E. coli bacteria are harmless, a group called enterohaemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) can produce toxins, known as Shiga toxins or verotoxins, which damage blood cells and the kidneys. EHEC bacteria that produce these toxins are known as STEC or VTEC, respectively.
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Tags: berlin germany, blood cells, bno, cucumbers, e coli, e coli bacteria, e coli outbreak, german nationals, hamburg area, kidneys, provinces of spain, rapid alert system, shiga toxins, spanish authorities, spanish regions, stec, three women, united nation, visiting germany, world health organization