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  1. #1
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    4 in U.S. now linked to German E. coli outbreak

    Jun 02, 2011

    3 Americans have mutant strain of E. coli hitting Europe

    08:09 PMPrint Share
    By Michael Winter, USA TODAY

    The E. coli outbreak that has killed 18 and sickened more than 1,600 people in Europe appears to be a new, more virulent mutant strain that is causing potentially deadly blood and kidney damage and that may be spread person to person, researchers and public health officials say.

    Three Americans who traveled recently to Germany contracted the food-poisoning bacteria and developed haemolytic-uraemic syndrome (HUS), which affects the blood and kidneys, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told CNN. All are in U.S. hospitals.

    Health experts warn that the bug could be exported to the USA, because the bacteria has an eight-day incubation period and may be passed among people, The Telegraph reports from London. The CDC says the illness is rarely passed among people.

    Seven cases have been found in Britain, the country's first. Most infections have occurred in northern Germany, and hundreds are seriously ill. Nine deaths have resulted from HUS, the World Health Organization says.

    The BBC has a map of the outbreak, the largest of its kind.

    Science reports that DNA sequencing has yielded clues to the "super toxic" bacteria.

    http://content.usatoday.com/communities ... g-europe/1
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    4 in U.S. now linked to German E. coli outbreak

    Updated 39m ago

    ATLANTA (AP) – Four people in the U.S. were apparently sickened by the food poisoning outbreak in Europe, health officials said Friday. Three are hospitalized with a serious complication.

    All four were in northern Germany in May. Though they didn't stay at the same hotel or eat at the same restaurants, officials are confident that they were infected with E. coli in that country.

    Three of them — two women and a man — are hospitalized with kidney failure, a complication of E. coli that has become a hallmark of the outbreak. One of the four fell ill while on a plane to the U.S.

    Two other cases are being investigated in U.S. service members in Germany, said Dr. Chris Braden, of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    The source of the outbreak hasn't been pinpointed but the focus has been on fresh tomatoes, lettuce and cucumbers. More than 1,800 people have fallen ill, nearly all in Germany.

    In a teleconference Friday with reporters, a Food and Drug Administration official said produce in the U.S. remains safe. The government has stepped up testing of food from Germany and Spain, but very little is imported from those countries or the rest of Europe.

    The United States has "one of the safest food supplies in the world," said Don Kraemer, deputy director of the FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.

    Few details about the four ill people in the U.S. have been released. It's not known if they are U.S. residents or visitors. Milwaukee Health Commissioner Bevan Baker said Friday that one of the four — an adult who traveled from Germany — was in an area hospital.

    Health officials have been reluctant to discuss the cases because of patient confidentiality. "We don't want there to be an overreaction, or people to feel stigmatized because they just happened to get back from Germany," said Dr. Robert Tauxe, a CDC foodborne disease expert.

    The risk of the four cases triggering outbreaks in the U.S. is considered very small, he added.

    "We don't think it spreads from one person to another rapidly" and will not move through the population like the flu, he said.

    The CDC sent a notice to U.S. doctors Friday, advising them to be on the alert for cases.

    As the investigation into the E. coli strain from the outbreak continues, CDC officials say they have never seen the strain here but are aware of at least two previous reports of a similar strain elsewhere. One was a 29-year-old woman in South Korea, reported in 2006. The other was a small cluster of cases in the Republic of Georgia in 2009.

    http://yourlife.usatoday.com/fitness-fo ... 48039564/1
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    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    E.coli in Canada

    Global News: Monday, June 6, 2011 4:38 PM

    TORONTO – An Ontario man has Canada's first suspected case of E.coli linked to the deadly outbreak in Europe.

    The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care says the Peel Region man travelled to Germany earlier this spring where he ate local salad products.

    The outbreak has also spread to the U.S. where four people in Atlanta were apparently sickened by the bacteria while visiting northern Germany last month.

    In Canada, some farmers fear the outbreak is already proving bad for business.

    The organization that represents Ontario's greenhouse vegetable growers says some of its members have reported a drop in sales as demand slips on news the source of the deadly bacteria remains unknown.

    Sprouts from northern Germany were ruled out as the cause of the outbreak, as were contaminated cucumbers from Spain last week. Officials are focusing tests on tomatoes, cucumbers and lettuce from the EU to pinpoint the cause of the outbreak that has sickened thousands and left more than 20 people dead

    A spokesman for the Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers said Ontario growers must meet strict food safety requirements and Canadian consumers shouldn't be worried.

    But in an increasingly globalized food marketplace, the worry remains.

    Microbiologist Rick Holley, a food science professor at the University of Manitoba, is concerned by issues with the North American and European food contamination and inspection services.

    "There are some things systematically wrong with the system in North America and in many European countries. One of those things is the issue with respect to ignoring inputs of salmonella and pathogenic E. coli into the agriculture system through contaminated animal feed," Holley said.

    "And until we figure out a way of doing this effectively, we're going to be faced with seeing reports of food-borne outbreaks caused by produce, specifically caused by one or the other or both of these organisms."

    While American health officials continue to investigate local cases related to the European outbreak, the U.S. government has ramped up efforts to test food from Germany and Spain.

    On Friday, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency said it would also enhance its controls on produce from the European Union.

    The CFIA said it will intensify sampling and testing of European cucumbers, tomatoes and lettuce. The agency said there is no indication that any contaminated product has been shipped to Canada.

    “The amount of fresh product imported from European countries account for less than one per cent of fresh product entering Canada,
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