Facts about E. coli outbreak in Europe - Organic Trade Association
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Facts about E. coli outbreak in Europe

Here is how you can track what is officially known about the E. coli outbreak which originated in Germany:

European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control

Robert Koch Institute (a federal institute within the German Federal Ministry of Health)

German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (Bundesinstitut für Risikobewertug), 2011 Press Releases

On 22 May, Germany reported a significant increase in the number of patients with haemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) and bloody diarrhea caused by Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC). Since 2 May 2011, 661 cases of HUS and 1,672 non-HUS STEC cases have been reported from European Union member states, including 630 HUS cases and 1,601 non-HUS STEC cases in Germany. Sixteen of the HUS cases and six non-HUS STEC cases in EU Member states have died. See table below.

While HUS, caused by STEC infections, is usually observed in children under 5 years of age, in this outbreak the great majority of cases are adults, with more than two thirds being women.

Laboratory results indicate that STEC serogroup O104:H4 (Stx2-positve, eae-negative, hly-negative, ESBL, aat, aggR, aap) is the causative agent. PFGE results shows indistinguishable pattern of 7 human O104:H4 outbreak strains in Germany and 2 strains of O104:H4 in Denmark. The source of the outbreak is under investigation, but contaminated food seems the most likely vehicle of infection.

Most cases are from, or have a history of travel to the North of Germany (mainly Schleswig-Holstein, Lower Saxony, North-Rhine-Westphalia and Hamburg). Within the EU also Denmark, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom have reported cases of HUS, related to the ongoing outbreak as well as cases of non-HUS STEC cases.

Statistics thus far
According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control as of June 6, the EU member states had recorded the following number of cases and deaths:

Number of HUS cases:
661 cases, 16 deaths

Number of non-HUS STEC cases:
1,672 cases, 6 deaths
Total deaths: 22 as of June 6.

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