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Woman in critical condition in EHEC case

Published: 30 May 2011 14:41 GMT+02:00
Updated: 30 May 2011 19:19 GMT+02:00

Doctors in Halland in western Sweden are unable to concrete prognosis for the woman who is reported to be suffering from kidney problems and is being treated with a dialysis and respirator.

"How long the dialysis treatment will take is difficult to say. It could be a couple of days, a couple of weeks or become a chronic disease," said doctor Mats Erntell.

The Local reported earlier on Monday that six more Swedes have been infected by the EHEC bacteria, bringing the total number of cases in Sweden to 39.

The Swedish Institute for Communicable Disease Control (Smitskyddsinstitutet – SMI) believes that all cases of the diseases reported so far in Sweden originated in Germany and there are no indications thus far that the disease is spreading within Sweden.

Nevertheless, the agency said in a statement on Sunday that the number of reported cases could very well increase in the coming days.

Current cases have been reported across the country, from SKåne in the south to Jämtland in the north.

Of the 36 people who have been affected by the E. coli outbreak, 13 are being treated for the haemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS) complication that causes patients serious trouble and can be fatal.

Several of the patients have been admitted to intensive care units and are receiving dialysis treatment.

German health authorities have confirmed two HUS-related fatalities and are investigating eight additional deaths believed to have been caused by the complication.

So far, 300 people in Germany have contracted the disease in recent weeks.

Sweden's SMI has also found that two of the most serious Swedish cases of the disease have come from the same rare EHEC serotype O104 found in Germany, and expects further analyses to confirm the suspected ties to the German outbreak.

The agency is also urging people visiting northern Germany to follow advisories issued by the German health authorities to avoid eating uncooked cucumbers, lettuce, and tomatoes.

Outbreaks of EHEC are not that common in Sweden. Smaller outbreaks are sometimes connected to farms, wells, day care centres and restaurants.

The largest outbreak to date in Sweden was in 2005 when 135 cases, of which 11 developed the complication HUS, occurred in southern Sweden.

TT/The Local/dl (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

11:41 May 30, 2011 by johnny1939
Wonder why this happens in Europe these days? Polluted waters?. Organic?

Not enough washing? I have heard that if infected your rinsing etc does not do any good for removing bacteria and then of course we have no way of controlling what goes on in restaurants and snack joints. Perhaps if it continues we have to stay away from anything that is not cooked or pealed at least when eating in places where we have no control. Horrible thought specially in the summer.
08:20 May 31, 2011 by Lemon1987
enterohaemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) bacteria = new HIV virus? only W.H.O knows :/
10:11 May 31, 2011 by CM75
It's not 300 cases, it is over 1400 cases with about 300 severe cases and 14 deaths in Germany. Still, it's a local outbreak, the source most likely being raw vegetables. It can be transmitted from person to person, but by far not as easy as e.g. a flu virus, so it can be controlled by good hygiene.

@Grippen: Most men in the UK don't wash their hands after going to the toilet (http://goo.gl/t3NsK). So it would even be better if they used their left hand for wiping and their right hand for eating ;) Poor hygiene is not a problem specific to non-Europeans, even though that's what you might think if you have a simple-minded view of the world.

@Lemon1987: What is EHEC supposed to have in common with HIV? Do you have any entertaining conspiracy theories you want to share?
11:37 May 31, 2011 by Lemon1987
@CM75

yeah .. Im sceptic incrust , u know there is always something rotten in the state of Denmark ;)
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