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Entries in E. Coli (8)

Friday
Jun102011

Sprouts Are Cause of E. Coli Outbreak, Germany Says

Ryan McVay/Digital Vision/Thinkstock(BERLIN) -- German health officials announced Friday that bean sprouts, as previously believed, are most likely to blame for the deadly E. coli outbreak that has affected the country.

"It's the sprouts," said Reinhard Burger, head of the Robert Koch Institute, Germany's center for disease control.

Speaking at a press conference, Burger added that "people who ate sprouts were nine times more likely to have bloody diarrhea than those who did not."

Over two dozen people have died from the outbreak and thousands more have fallen ill.  People from 12 countries have been infected and it's believed all had passed through northern Germany, where officials had issued a warning not to consume sprouts of any kind.

That warning still stands, according to Burger, who warned that the outbreak was not over.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jun062011

Sprouts Not the Source of European E. Coli Outbreak?

Comstock/Thinkstock(BERLIN) -- The E. coli outbreak in Europe that is believed to have killed 22 people and left 2,000 others sick may not have been caused by bean sprouts grown in Germany, despite officials' most recent theory.

Over the weekend, German agriculture minister Gert Lindermann said that a company that grew the sprouts locally in a northern region had been shuttered until further notice. Lindermann said at a news conference, "There was a very clear trail [to this company] as the source of the infection...It is the most convincing...source for the E. coli illnesses."

But initial tests on those sprouts showed no evidence of E. coli, officials said Monday.

People from 12 countries have been infected and it is believed all had passed through northern Germany, where officials had issued a warning not to consume sprouts of any kind. Four Americans, all whom had been to Germany, have also been sickened.

Officials will now likely refocus their investigation on cucumbers, tomatoes and lettuce -- the produce that was in question at the start of the outbreak.

This strain of E. coli is different because the incubation period is longer, meaning symptoms can take up to two weeks to show up. In its most virulent form, the disease can cause fatal kidney failure.  Typically, those sickened experience diarrhea and dehydration.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jun062011

Europe's E. Coli Outbreak Traced to Bean Sprouts

Ryan McVay/Digital Vision/Thinkstock(BERLIN) -- The E. coli outbreak in Europe that is believed to have killed 22 people and left 2,000 others sick may have had its origins in bean sprouts grown in Germany.

That was the word Sunday from German agriculture minister Gert Lindermann, who said that a company that grew the sprouts locally in a northern region has been shuttered until further notice.

Lindermann said at a news conference, "There was a very clear trail [to this company] as the source of the infection...It is the most convincing...source for the E. coli illnesses."

People from 12 countries have been infected and it's believed all had passed through northern Germany, where officials have issued a warning not to consume sprouts of any kind.  Four Americans, all whom had been to Germany, have also been sickened.

This strain of E. coli is different because the incubation period is longer, meaning symptoms can take up to two weeks to show up.

In its most virulent form, the disease can cause fatal kidney failure.  Typically, those sickened experience diarrhea and dehydration.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Jun042011

E. Coli Outbreak in Europe Is the Deadliest in History

Duncan Smith/Thinkstock(GENEVA, Switzerland) -- The rapidly developing European E. coli outbreak that has killed 18 people and sickened thousands, including four suspected cases in the United States, has become the deadliest outbreak of E. coli in modern history.

Where exactly people are being infected with the disease is still unknown, although 17 people fell ill after eating in the northern German city of Luebeck in May, according to the local media. Researchers from Germany's national disease control center are inspecting the restaurant in question.

Other health experts suspect the disease first spread in May at a festival in the northern German city of Hamburg that was visited by 1.5 million people. But as of yet, there is no concrete proof that either site is the cause of the outbreak.

In a briefing Friday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the four suspected cases in the United States are all people who likely contracted the infection while in northern Germany in May and brought it back to the United States. Three of the victims are hospitalized with hemolytic-uremic syndrome and the fourth reported bloody diarrhea consistent with the outbreak strain of E. coli.

Two American military service members stationed in Germany are also suspected cases. The CDC said both of them have a similar diarrheal illness.

Government officials stressed that the outbreak has not affected the United States directly.

The Food and Drug Administration is monitoring lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers from Spain and Germany based on information it has received from European investigators. Produce from those countries accounts for less than 0.2 percent of produce imported into the United States every year.

The FDA says it is also stepping up its food safety regulations.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jun032011

E. Coli Outbreak Affecting Significantly More Women

S. Lowry/Univ Ulster(GENEVA, Switzerland) -- The European E. coli outbreak that has claimed more than a dozen lives and sickened thousands, including four suspected cases in the U.S. -- has disproportionately affected women.

"The outbreak is unusual in that it has developed very rapidly, and an unusually high number of cases affect adults ... particularly women, instead of the normal high-risk groups, which are young children and the elderly," said Aphaluck Bhatiasevi, a communications officer with the World Health Organization (WHO) .

Women account for about 70 percent of the cases of hemolytic-uremic syndrome, the serious illness affecting the kidneys caused by the bacteria, according to WHO.

While officials have not yet been able to determine the source of the bacteria, Dr. Gerard Krause, an outbreak investigator with the Robert Koch Institute in Germany, told ABC News that soon-to-be-released studies implicate lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers. Krause said the outbreak is most closely associated with lettuce.

Speculation is that more women are falling ill because they eat more vegetables, or it could be a gender-specific biological factor.

"It may be just because whatever is causing it is something that women eat more than men," said Dr. Maria Alcaide, an assistant professor of infectious diseases at the University of Miami's Miller School of Medicine. "The other thought is that women have something different in their gut that's making these bacteria more attracted."

In a briefing earlier Friday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said there are four suspected cases in the U.S., individuals who likely contracted the infection while in northern Germany and brought it back to the United States. Three of the victims are hospitalized with hemolytic-uremic syndrome and the fourth reported bloody diarrhea consistent with the outbreak strain of E. coli.

Two American military service members stationed in Germany are also suspected cases. The CDC said both of them have a similar diarrheal illness.

Government officials stressed that the outbreak has not affected the United States directly.

The Food and Drug Administration is monitoring lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers from Spain and Germany based on information it has received from European investigators. Produce from those countries accounts for less than 0.2 percent of produce imported into the U.S. every year.

The FDA says it is also stepping up its food safety regulations.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jun022011

E. coli Outbreak Ravaging Europe is New Strain of Bacteria

Duncan Smith/Thinkstock(BERLIN) -- The lethal E. coli bacteria that has left 18 dead and more than 1,500 sick in Europe is a new strain that experts have never seen before, the World Health Organization announced Thursday.

Early investigations suggest that the strain is an altered type of two E. coli bacteria with deadly genes that, experts said, could explain the widespread and dangerous nature of the illness.

The source of the bacteria remains unknown, continuing to baffle experts.

The strain has hit eight countries in Europe, but has been concentrated in Germany.

Two cases have surfaced in U.S. hospitals, said Lola Russell, a spokeswoman for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Russell did not disclose the names or locations of those who had fallen ill, but she did say their illnesses were associated with recent travel to Germany. Both are expected to survive.

Most E. Coli strains are harmless, but those that do cause sickness usually trigger bouts of bloody diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps. In the bacteria's most serious and severe form, the infection causes hemolytic uremic syndrome, or HUS, a condition that attacks the kidneys and can cause stroke, seizure, coma and death. In a typical outbreak, only about 1 to 2 percent of those affected experience HUS.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
May312011

Sweden Death Linked to German E. Coli Outbreak

Jupiterimages/Photos[dot]com(BERLIN) -- The E. Coli outbreak that’s had people in northern Germany on edge looks to be spreading.

The outbreak, linked to tainted vegetables, has reportedly claimed the life of a woman in southwestern Sweden after she was admitted to a local hospital this weekend following a trip to Germany.

German officials have urged people in some northern areas of the country not to eat cucumbers, tomatoes, and fresh leafy salads. At least 15 people have died and several hundred others have fallen ill after consuming tainted produce that Germany believes was imported from Spain.

Russia has banned imports from Spain and Germany pending further notice.

The exact source of the outbreak remains unknown.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
May302011

Spanish Veggies Eyed In German E. Coli Outbreak

Jupiterimages/Photos[dot]com(BERLIN) -- An E. coli outbreak in northern Germany has officials urging people there not to eat cucumbers, tomatoes, and fresh leafy salads after eleven people are known to have died and several hundred others fell ill after consuming tainted produce.

The bacterial outbreak is believed to have come from produce imported from Spain.

Russia has banned imports from Spain and Germany pending further notice.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio