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Posts Tagged ‘EHEC outbreak’

E. coli much less contagious than i. gnorance

Posted by feww on June 3, 2011

E. coli NOT contagious despite the usual hype by Cabal News Network

Far deadlier outbreaks of much nastier bacteria/ viruses may be looming!

Recent outbreak of E. coli in Europe

  • Escherichia coli  (E. coli) is a major form of food poisoning.
  • The recent outbreak is thought to be a new variant of the rare strain E. coli O104:H4
  • The new variant is believed to be extremely toxic and highly infectious.

Shiga-like toxin-producing Escherichia coli. Image Courtesy of the Helmholtz Center for Research on Infectious Diseases.

  • About 1,650 people have been infected.
  • In Germany about 1,100  cases of bloody diarrhea have been reported.
  • Additionally, some 470 people have developed a deadly complication called haemolytic-uraemic syndrome (HUS), which affects the blood, and could lead to kidney failure.
  • 18 people have died: 17 in Germany and one in Sweden.
  • The source of the infection was originally thought to be Spanish cucumbers. However, that may no longer be the case.
  • Scientists said the E. coli strain in Europe “combines a highly poisonous but common toxin with a rarely seen ‘glue’ that binds it to a patient’s intestines.”
  • “This is a combination of two different groups of E coli which have led to increased pathogenicity. It can adhere very well to human cells, which makes it easier to transmit.” Said Dr Alexander Mellmann, the scientist who mapped the DNA of the new strain at the University of Munster in Germany.
  • Cases of E. coli infections have been reported in 10 European countries, all of which may have originated from a single source.
  • Russia has banned import of fresh vegetables from the European Union.  It’s not known weather they have also banned raw meat, or other food products.

O-157 strain of E. coli

  • At least 15 cases of infection caused by O-157 strain of E. coli bacteria have been reported in Japan. The victims dined at a barbecue restaurant chain in Toyama Prefecture. “REINS International Inc, the Tokyo-based operator of the Gyu-Kaku chain, apologized for the food-poisoning cases and said it thinks Australian beef was the likely cause,” said a report.
  •  “At least four people in Japan have died from E.coli food poisoning since April, after eating raw beef at another Korean-style barbecue restaurant chain,” a report said.
  • In 1996 an outbreak of E. coli in Japan killed 12 people.
  •  In 2000, 7 people died in a Canadian outbreak.

These are colonies of Escherichia coli bacteria growing on blood agar culture medium. Escherichia coli is the most common aerobic bacteria found in the large intestine of healthy individuals, and accounts for 90-95% of all the aerobic bacteria. Credit: CDC/Dr. Theo Hawkins, Click images to enlarge.

“More than 200 known diseases are transmitted through food. The causes of foodborne illness include viruses, bacteria, parasites, toxins, metals, and prions, and the symptoms of foodborne illness range from mild gastroenteritis to life-threatening neurologic, hepatic, and renal syndromes. In the United States, foodborne diseases have been estimated to cause 6 million to 81 million illnesses and up to 9,000 deaths each year.” CDC reported.

“Escherichia coli O157:H7 causes 73,000 illnesses in the United States annually. We reviewed E. coli O157 outbreaks reported to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to better understand the epidemiology of E. coli O157. E. coli O157 outbreaks (≥2 cases of E. coli O157 infection with a common epidemiologic exposure) reported to CDC from 1982 to 2002 were reviewed. In that period, 49 states reported 350 outbreaks, representing 8,598 cases, 1,493 (17%) hospitalizations, 354 (4%) hemolytic uremic syndrome cases, and 40 (0.5%) deaths. Transmission route for 183 (52%) was foodborne, 74 (21%) unknown, 50 (14%) person-to-person, 31 (9%) waterborne, 11 (3%) animal contact, and 1 (0.3%) laboratory-related. The food vehicle for 75 (41%) foodborne outbreaks was ground beef, and for 38 (21%) outbreaks, produce.”

CDC Situation Report

German health authorities have reported an outbreak of a severe illness called hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS) in Germany since May 2, 2011. In this outbreak, HUS is being caused by an infection with a Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) bacteria. Many people have been hospitalized, several requiring intensive care, and some people have died. New cases are still being reported. For case counts and situation information, please see Investigation Announcement: Outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O104 (STEC O104:H4) Infections Associated with Travel to Germany. The organism causing the outbreak has been identified as E. coli O104:H4, producing Shiga toxin. This strain of E. coli causes an illness similar to infection with E. coli O157:H7.

Most infections have been reported in people in northern Germany (mainly Bremen, Hamburg, Lower Saxony, and Schleswig-Holstein) or in people who have recently traveled to these areas. Cases in travelers to northern Germany have been reported in Denmark, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

German health authorities are investigating the outbreak but have not confirmed a source. They suspect that the source is contaminated food, possibly raw vegetables.

Follow regular food safety measures when handling fruit and vegetables.

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