E.coli image courtesy www.foodpoisonjournal.comDear Readers:
Today, the CDC has announced that there are three cases of STEC O104:H4 in the U.S., presumably in persons who contracted it in Europe, perhaps in Germany.
As soon as verifiable data is available, I will link you to it. For now, the main CDC page on this outbreak can be found here:
Here are some recent statistics from the CDC's counterpart, detailing the STEC O104:H4situation in Europe, which are self-explanatory.
|"Outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli in Germany (3 June 2011, 11:00)|
03 Jun 2011
On 22 May, Germany reported a significant increase in the number of patients with haemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) and bloody diarrhoea caused by Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC).
Since 2 May 2011, 551 cases of HUS have been reported from European Union Member States, including 520 cases in Germany. 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.
Twelve of the HUS cases in EU Member States have died. 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, Sweden, United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Denmark and Spain have reported cases of HUS, related to the ongoing outbreak.
Number of HUS cases and HUS associated deaths per EU Member States as of June 3nd , 11:00
Based on the available information, cases are associated with an exposure in Germany (mainly northern parts). The vehicle of the outbreak has not yet been identified and intensive investigations are ongoing. The results of these investigations will determine the assessment of this risk. Rapid identification of potential cases linked to this outbreak, within Germany or among persons who have travelled to Germany since the beginning of May, is essential to prevent the development of severe disease.
STEC is a group of pathogenic Escherichia coli (E. coli) strains capable of producing Shiga toxins, with the potential to cause severe enteric and systemic disease in humans."
God Bless You
Reverend Barbara Sexton
"The Biblical Biochemist-Where Science Meets the Cross"