Sixteen people have died – 15 in Germany and a woman who died in Sweden after travelling to Germany, after becoming infected with enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC), with hundreds more sickened by the virulent bacterium.
According to the medical information, the gastrointestinal infection has led to Haemolytic-uraemic Syndrome (HUS), which causes kidney problems and is potentially fatal. There is a small risk of person-to-person spread of the infection, mostly among children and those who care for them.
German authorities has blamed the outbreak on organic cucumbers from Spain. Spanish officials have have refused to accept the blame, because there has to be any proof of that. And ” it is still unclear exactly when and where the vegetables were contaminated”.
The Robert Koch Institute (RKI), Germany’s national disease institute, says more than 1,150 people within Germany have been affected by EHEC.
There are U.S. residents who traveled in northern Germany, federal health officials confirmed Tuesday. They have been hospitalized with serious, life-threatening complications , said Dr. Robert Tauxe, deputy director of foodborne, bacterial and mycotic diseases at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Infection to the press. Investigation of their cases is continuing, Tauxe said.
The federal Food and Drug Administration is flagging cucumbers, lettuce and tomatoes from Spanish growers implicated in the outbreak for further inspection. In all of May, the U.S. imported one shipment of Spanish cucumbers, or 480 cases.
“Luckily, this is not a huge import season for vegetables,” said Siobhan DeLancey, an FDA spokeswoman.
Food safety experts said they would expect cases to expand beyond Germany and eight other European nations to the U.S.
Travelers who find themselves on a plane or other public transport with diarrhea and other food poisoning symptoms should remember to wash their hands thoroughly and clean surfaces as they go.Image by diseas.net