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Dog show sparks new Swedish EHEC outbreak

Dog show sparks new Swedish EHEC outbreak

Published: 16 Jun 2011 11:10 GMT+02:00
Updated: 16 Jun 2011 11:10 GMT+02:00

"We're right in the middle of investigating where the bacteria came from," Britt Åkerlind of the infectious disease unit of Östergötland County told The Local.

So far, two Swedes have been confirmed as infected by EHEC, one from Skåne in the south, and another from Gothenburg in the west.

"But we're expecting more confirmed cases to come in," said Åkerlind.

Those infected with the bacteria all attended a dog show near Norrköping in eastern Sweden held the first weekend in June.

Of the roughly 120 participants, who traveled from all over Sweden as well as from Denmark, Norway, and Finland, about half have come down with symptoms stemming from EHEC infection.

"We've also received reports that some of the dogs have had upset stomachs," said Åkerlind, who labeled the outbreak as "quite large".

Both the Swedish Institute for Communicable Disease Control (Smittskyddsinstitutet) and the National Food Administration (Livsmedelsverket) have been notified, she added.

She explained that determining the source of the outbreak is complicated by the fact that participants ate both their own food, as well as common meals prepared on site.

Meanwhile, Sweden's TV4 reports that around 10 people have been infected with the EHEC bacteria near the town of Skellefteå in northern Sweden.

Åkerlind confirmed, however, that Sweden's current dog show EHEC outbreak involves a different strain of the bacteria than the strain behind the more aggressive outbreak which originated in northern Germany several weeks ago and has so far claimed 36 lives, including one Swede.

"Luckily, this is a milder variant of EHEC," she said.

Symptoms have included diarrhea, upset stomach, vomiting, and fever.

"But so far, no one has been hospitalised nor have their been any reports of secondary infections," said Åkerlind.

The Local/dl (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

12:16 June 16, 2011 by Rick Methven
Soon it will be a case of

'Don't drink the water and don't breath the air'
12:54 June 16, 2011 by Swedesmith
Those must be wiener dogs in the picture.
09:12 June 29, 2011 by karex
Can dogs catch this from humans? If so, the dogs could have caught it from their owners. But if it's like the common cold or the flu - that dogs can't catch the same disease that plague people (they are infected by a different variety of cold), then the source was most likely not the food, but perhaps the water source? Dogs don't eat people food as most of what we eat is very bad for their health, and most certainly show dogs are carefully cared for.

If the source is the water, then it could cause a very big outspread.
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