E.coli bacteria courtesy http://foodpoisoning.pritzkerlaw.com/archives/cat-e-coli.htmlDear Ones:
Scientific terminology can be confusing enough as is, but when one considers the various conventions amongst different countries in the world, it can become even more confusing.
Rest assured that all this 'biomedicalese' is eminently understandable once one understands what each term stands for and without further ado, let me break it down for you.
When you hear about the 'STEC O104:H4' outbreak in Europe, this same outbreak is called 'E. coli O104:H4' in the Americas and is called an 'EHEC' outbreak in the rest of the world, by organizations such as WHO (the World Health Organization).
---'E. coli' stands for Escherichia coli. (esh-er-REEK-ee-uh KOHL-eye) By convention, Latin names such as this are either italicized or underlined.
|---'STEC' stands for "Shiga toxin - producing E. coli". This is what E coli. bacteria are called in Germany.|
---'EHEC' stands for "enterohemorrhagic E. coli". This is what E. coli is called globally by organizations like the WHO.
So, 'STEC' O104:H4 = 'EHEC' O104:H4 = E. coli O104:H4.
Note that it is 'the letter O' (O104:H4) and not a 'zero" (0104).
There are also spelling differences such as hemolytic-uremic syndrome and haemolytic-uraemic syndrome to consider, but they are both known as 'HUS'.
As far as regulatory agencies are concerned, the U.S. has the CDC
And the FDA (Food And Drug Administration)
Europe has the eCDC
And the EFSA (European Food Safety Authority)
The RKI is the health regulatory agency in Germany.
I hope this clears up some confusion for you.
Unfortunately, whatever we may 'call it', this latest 'STEC' O104 outbreak is ominous, indeed.
Still, with vigilance on the part of consumers and diligence on the part of regulatory agencies, there is no reason why this outbreak cannot be broken down epidemiologically and brought to a halt.
Until then, please be careful.
God Keep You & Yours Safe
Reverend Barbara Sexton
"The Biblical Biochemist-Where Science Meets the Cross"