Germany holds crisis meeting as E. coli spreads
Germany called crisis talks on Monday over fears that an E. coli bacteria epidemic, which has left 10 people dead, was continuing to spread.
Since the outbreak was first reported in north Germany two weeks ago 1,200 people are suspected to have been contaminated by potentially deadly enterohaemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC).
There has been no official confirmation of the figure, but the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control has described the outbreak as “one of the largest worldwide and the largest ever reported in Germany”.
EHEC can result in full-blown haemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS), a disease that causes bloody diarrhoea and serious liver damage which can result in death.
Germany’s national disease institute, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), reported 329 HUS cases nationwide and there confirmed deaths.
RKI said Monday the source of the contamination had not yet clearly been identified, but called on people not to eat raw cucumbers, tomatoes and lettuce.
Authorities had earlier said they had traced some bacteria to organic cucumbers imported from Spain, a measure which led to many shops removing all Spanish-grown vegetables from their shelves.
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