Published Date: 2011-05-26 15:35:19
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> E. coli O104 - EU: (Germany, Denmark, Sweden) Spanish cucumbers
Archive Number: 20110526.1611
E. COLI O104 - EUROPEAN UNION: (GERMANY, DENMARK, SWEDEN) SPANISH
A ProMED-mail post
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International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: Thu 26 May 2011
Source: Deutsche Welle [edited]
Cucumbers from Spain are the source of the recent _E. coli_ [O104]
outbreak in northern Germany, the Hamburg Institute for Hygiene
announced on Thu 26 May 2011. It comes after the German Farmers'
Association said earlier that day that domestic produce was most
likely not responsible for the outbreak.
German authorities have advised people not to eat cucumbers and
generally be careful with raw vegetables.
On Wed 25 May 2011, initial investigations by the Robert-Koch
Institute had suggested that there was "a high probability that [the
infections] were caused by consumption of raw tomatoes, cucumbers, or
green salads," according to a statement released by the German
The food-monitoring agencies in the northern states had been informed
of these findings and were launching appropriate investigations, the
ministry said. The number of current, serious cases of
enterohaemorrhagic _Escherichia coli_ (EHEC) infections was thought to
have reached 138 on Wed 25 May 2011 against a normal annual average of
between 60 and 70 cases.
The outbreak has spread to Denmark, with one case confirmed by a
hospital in Aarhus. The authorities in Copenhagen have announced at
least 6 more potential cases of infection. The EU Health Commissioner
John Dalli said on Thu 26 May 2011, that potential cases in the UK,
Sweden, and the Netherlands were being investigated.
[Byline: Mark Hallam]
Date: Thu 26 May 2011
Source: The Local [edited]
To date 10 Swedes are severely ill and many more have fallen ill
after catching the virulent enterohemorrhagic _E. coli_ (EHEC)
bacteria following the recent outbreak of the disease in Northern
According to Sofie Ivarsson, epidemiologist at the Swedish Institute
for Communicable Disease Control (Smitskyddsinstitutet), it is the
complication hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS) that causes patients'
serious trouble. What is extraordinary with this outbreak is that it
is only adults that have suffered complications. "Usually these kind
of complications tend to strike against children," Ivarsson said to
[news agency TT]
So far the disease have been identified in several southern Swedish
counties and tests are showing that it is probably the same bacterium
as the recent outbreak in Germany. The institute were informed of the
1st Swedish case during the 2nd week in May . More are expected
to fall ill.
Since the end of April 2011 there have been 214 reported cases of HUS
in Germany and several hundred cases of the infection. That many cases
in such short time are unusual.
German health officials have announced that the bacteria have been
found in 3 Spanish cucumbers. "We believe that cucumbers are the most
probable source of the disease," said Cornelia Pruefer-Storcks, state
health minister for Hamburg to AFP. A 4th cucumber has tested positive
for the bacteria but authorities are not sure of its origins.
The Swedish National Food Administration (Livsmedelsverket) have said
that they will be in contact with the German authorities. The
institute is now urging Swedes to be careful if traveling to Germany.
Apart from Sweden and Germany, cases have been reported in Britain,
the Netherlands, and Denmark.
[Now with documented cases in Denmark and Sweden and suspected cases
in other EU countries, this outbreak is spreading rapidly. The report
from Sweden details the Swedish cases so far as well as updates the
number of cases of HUS in Germany to 214. Additionally, it appears
that German scientists have found the "smoking" cucumber, that is,
isolation of the epidemic strain from the presumed vehicle. - Mod.LL]