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Swedish woman dies in EHEC case

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Swedish woman dies in EHEC case
14:07 CEST+02:00
A Swedish woman has died after being infected with the virulent enterohaemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) bacteria stemming from an E. coli outbreak which originated in northern Germany.

Around 40 Swedes are currently being cared for in hospital with complications related to EHEC bacteria.

According to a press release from Södra Älvsborg hospital it is a woman in her fifties who has died. She was admitted to the hospital on May 29th, after having been infected during a trip to Germany.

A man in his seventies is also being cared for at the hospital for EHEC, but his symptoms are reported to be mild.

The Local reported on Monday that a woman in Halland remained in critical condition, but her status has been reported to have stabilised somewhat during Tuesday morning.

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.

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, 1200 people in Germany have contracted the disease in recent weeks, with 14 fatalities linked to the outbreak.

SMI is 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.

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