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Europe gripped by e-coli outbreak, death toll rise to 16

06-01-2011 08:31 BJT Special Report:EU Struggles with E. Coli Outbreak |

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A massive outbreak of e-coli infections linked to contaminated vegetables has claimed two more lives in Europe, bringing the death toll to 16. Meanwhile, the number of cases climbed to nearly 12,000 in at least eight countries.

Nearly 400 people in Germany are battling a severe and potentially fatal e-coli strain that attacks the kidneys.

Many doctors say they have never seen so many cases of hemolytic uremic syndrome linked to a foodborne illness outbreak.

Investigators across Europe are frantically trying to determine how many vegetables were contaminated with entero-haemor-rhagic e-coli - an unusual, toxic strain of the common e-coli bacterium.

Most people infected by the disease contracted it from eating raw cucumbers, tomatoes or lettuce.

A massive outbreak of e-coli infections linked to contaminated vegetables has claimed two more lives in Europe, bringing the death toll to 16. Meanwhile, the number of cases climbed to nearly 12,000 in at least eight countries.

The exact source of the bacteria's strain is still unknown. But scientists said suspicions about vegetables or salads being a possible source are well-founded, since cattle manure used in fertilizer can harbor e-coli.

The exact source of the bacteria's strain is still unknown. But scientists said suspicions about vegetables or salads being a possible source are well-founded, since cattle manure used in fertilizer can harbor e-coli.

Germany had earlier identified cucumbers from the Spanish regions of Almeria and Malaga as possible sources of contamination, but admitted later that Spanish cucumbers might not be the culprits of one of the worst E.coli outbreaks of its kind. One German official in the state of Hamburg says tests have proved inconclusive.

Germany had earlier identified cucumbers from the Spanish regions of Almeria and Malaga as possible sources of contamination, but admitted later that Spanish cucumbers might not be the culprits of one of the worst E.coli outbreaks of its kind.

Cornelia Pruefer-Storcks said, "I can tell you so far that two of the four cucumbers we found E.coli on carry an E.coli pathogen, however not the type O104 which would explain the serious complications, the illnesses here in Hamburg."

Spain said the damage on its agriculture sector has already been done. At least eight countries have already banned imports of cucumbers from the country. The ban has resulted in losses of around 200 million euros per week in lost sales for Spanish producers.

However, Spain said the damage on its agriculture sector has already been done. At least eight countries have already banned imports of cucumbers from the country. The ban has resulted in losses of around 200 million euros per week in lost sales for Spanish producers.

Many doctors say they have never seen so many cases of hemolytic uremic syndrome linked to a foodborne illness outbreak.

 

Editor:Zhang Jingya |Source: CNTV.CN

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