Deadly Cucumbers: E. Coli Hits Germany, North Europe

An E. coli outbreak has hit Germany and the culprit is a cucumber. The death toll now stands at fourteen and more that three hundred seriously ill. This disease has started to spread to the other northern European countries. In the coming week, it is expected to worsen in illness and possibly more deaths. In northern Germany is where the most deaths have occurred.

Cucumbers imported from Spain have been identified as having the pathogen E.coli on them. They are not sure where they were contaminated. It may have been in Spain, during transport, or in Germany.
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At this time, there are thirty six suspected cases of E. coli in Sweden, which are all linked to travel in northern Germany. There has also been a small number of E. coli cases reported in Denmark, Britain, the Netherlands, and France with all cases linked to travel to Germany.

This particular strain of E. coli is a relatively rare strain of the Shiga toxin producing E. coli. (STEC) This virulent bug has caused many cases of a potentially life threatening complication of the E. coli infection. This virulent is called the hemolytic-uremic syndrome also known as HUS. This is the largest outbreak of HUS/STEC ever in the world according to the European Center for Disease and Prevention and Control.

HUS affects the kidneys and blood, and in severe cases the nervous system. People are being warned to avoid the cucumbers, tomatoes, and lettuce.

More Headlines:

European food contamination kills 16, sickens 1150
Metro Canada – Calgary, on Tue, 31 May 2011 10:14:45 -0700

But enterohaemorrhagic E.coli, or EHEC, causes more severe symptoms, ranging from bloody diarrhea to the rare hemolytic uremic syndrome. In Germany, at least 373 people have come down with the syndrome, or HUS, in which E. coli infection attacks the …

European food contamination spreads, killing 16 and sickenening more than 1150
CKTB, on Tue, 31 May 2011 10:13:53 -0700

Vegetables from Spain are suspected of carrying the dangerous E.coli bacteria, which is suspected of killing some people in Germany and has caused many hundreds of people to become ill across Europe. Austria has moved to ban the sale of cucumbers, …

European food contamination kills 16, sickens 1150
The Olympian, on Tue, 31 May 2011 10:13:06 -0700

But enterohaemorrhagic E.coli, or EHEC, causes more severe symptoms, ranging from bloody diarrhea to the rare hemolytic uremic syndrome. In Germany, at least 373 people have come down with the syndrome, or HUS, in which E. coli infection attacks the …

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