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E. COLI OUTBREAK
More EHEC cases reported in Sweden

More EHEC cases reported in Sweden

Published: 03 Jun 2011 07:17 GMT+02:00
Updated: 03 Jun 2011 07:17 GMT+02:00

More Swedes have been infected with the virulent enterohaemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) bacteria which some health experts believe comes from an entirely new strain of the bacteria.

So far, 46 Swedes have been infected with and all of them are believed to have been infected while visiting Germany.

Of the Swedes suffering from EHEC, 15 have been diagnosed with the serious complication haemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS), including a woman from Borås who died on Tuesday.

On Thursday, another person in Germany died after being infected by EHEC, according to the AFP news agency, marking the 18th fatality since the outbreak began.

More than 2,000 people in ten European countries have reported being sickened by the bacteria in the last month.

At the same time, officials at the World Health Organisation (WHO) believe the current wave of EHEC infections involves a strain unseen in any previous outbreak.

"This strain has never been seen in an outbreak situation before," said WHO spokesperson Aphaluck Bhatiasevi, according to the Reuters news agency.

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has said that it has identified the strain and confirmed that it's a very rare.

The ECDC emphasised as well that the source of the outbreak remains unknown. Initially, health authorities in Germany had thought that cucumbers from Spain were to blame.

While the risk of the disease spreading further in Sweden is thought to be small, the infectious disease division of the city of Gothenburg in western Sweden believes that there will be a continued rise in the number of reported cases of Swedes infected with EHEC as more and more people go to get tested.

"But also because a number of travelers will be returning from Germany," said infectious diseases doctor Leif Dotevall to the TT news agency.

A woman in hospital in Jönköping in central Sweden remains in very serious condition, as do three people receiving care at Gothenburg's Sahlgrenska hospital.

Another person has been placed in the intensive care ward of a hospital in Varberg in western Sweden.

Meanwhile, Russia announced on Thursday it was stopping the import of fresh vegetables from all EU member states in the wake of the EHEC outbreak.

But the hunt for the source of the outbreak is still going on and on Friday authorities announced that meat will now also be tested.

According to Lars Plym Forsell at the Swedish Institute for Communicable Disease Control (Smittskyddsinstitutet), although the focus is still on tomatoes, cucumber and lettuce, scientists are now starting to test other products, including meat products.

"And of course they are still continuing to interview those that have been taken ill to zone in on what they have in common," Plym Forsell told Sveriges Radio (SR) on Friday.

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

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Your comments about this article

08:20 June 3, 2011 by kasimov
Good for Russia! I wonder why they have imported from EU when they can get more natural, ecological and cheaper fruits and veggies from Central Asian neighbours.
08:39 June 3, 2011 by Kr0n
Could this new bacteria strain originate from the Mexican Gulf? That is, as a result of the oil spill last year? I mean the toxic substances contained in oil have reached the European Atlantic coast and facilitated new strain development in coastal waters. The same water may have been used for watering vegetables, especially in eco-farms, where inhibitors are not used, leading to more bacteria surviving on the plants. Just my two cents.
09:20 June 3, 2011 by just a question
The cases are only in the North of Germany. A man has died in Spain but he had recently visited the North of Germany.

Therefore the problem is in Germany, (Hamburg).

Either is the German meat or the water they used in the Hamburg's market to wash vegetables.
12:14 June 3, 2011 by johnny1939
Those red things look truly obscene.
14:31 June 3, 2011 by Syftfel
Is this yet another example of the results of free flow of goods and people across international borders?
15:58 June 3, 2011 by Swedesmith
The picture looks like the breakfast cereal I had this morning. I feel sick....
16:02 June 3, 2011 by zoroastrina
'syfte' in English: >>aim, purpose, end, intention, purpose, object, tendencmistake, error, defect". [The People's Dictionary] I am accustomed to this utterly reactionary mindset; I know what to expect. She wants a closed system. "How 911 benefited India and the East. A world without borders. The last shameful apartheid of mankind: passports and visas.2010/10/14. Any open system flourishes. Any closed system perishes. 9/11 has triggered the xenophobia of people in the west and they have started closing their minds and borders to immigration from the rest of the world. http://shankaranarayanan.com/how-911-benefited-india-world-without-borders-last-shameful-apartheid-of-mankind-passports-visas/ kasimov is great.

We are strict vegetarians. Now we are boiling all of our vegetables, including iceberg lettuce here in Krautland. I don't care if you think I am overreacting. There are reasons for thinking that the sneezing of infected persons can transmit the bacteria.
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