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E. coli sweeping Europe identified as new strain

06-04-2011 10:27 BJT Special Report:EU Struggles with E. Coli Outbreak |

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19 deaths and 199 new cases have been reported in Germany in the last three days, and doctors there are now administering a new E. Coli anti-body. The country's center for disease control and the World Health Organization say that the outbreak seen in Europe is from a new strain of the bacteria.

Speaking at a meeting of kidney experts in the northern city of Hamburg where the illnesses was first reported, Professor Reinhard Brunkhorst told reporters about the prospects of the new treatment.

Professor Reinhard Brunkhorst said, "It's very early on for the anti-body therapy. In individual cases we clearly have the impression that it works -- otherwise we wouldn't do it. But it's nothing more than an impression. It is not the result of a medical study. (pauses and nods) However, we are very happy that we will evaluate all the data together, all the hospitals treating these patients. We will -- and this is the only positive aspect about this epidemic -- ultimately know better what is best for our patients."

While the German health ministry has kept up its recommendation not to eat raw lettuce, cucumbers and tomatoes, the director of the Kiel-based hospital for kidney diseases said strict hygiene was the best protection.

Professor Ulrich Kunzendorf, Kiel Hospital Director, said, "It is definitely possible to protect oneself. The most important thing is hygiene. We know that the pathogen are transmitted via the mouth. They must enter the mouth and ten to one hundred pathogen are absolutely sufficient. But it can be said that if hygiene is respected and when people cook meat above 70 degrees Celsius the pathogen are killed off. So people can in fact do a lot in order to protect themselves."

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization said the E.coli bacteria has not been seen in an outbreak before.

More than 1,600 people have been infected by E.coli, with Germany at the center of the outbreak.

E. coli bacteria themselves are harmless. But the strain that is making people sick in Europe has the ability to stick to intestinal walls where it pumps out toxins, sometimes causing severe bloody diarrhea and other complications.

Editor:Du Xiaodan |Source: CNTV.CN

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