Deadly E. coli outbreak spreads in Germany
Cucumbers from Spain have been identified as a source of the E. coli outbreak in Germany.
May 31st, 2011
10:06 AM ET

Deadly E. coli outbreak spreads in Germany

The outbreak of E. coli in Germany has killed several more people and sickened hundreds, authorities said Tuesday.

News reports citing local authorities reported 16 deaths linked to E. coli in some raw vegetables. CNN has confirmed at least 11 deaths.

As more people have died, the outbreak has shown itself to be spreading geographically as well. No longer contained in northern Germany, the outbreak has killed at least two people in the western part of the country.

The Robert Koch Institute, Germany's federal unit responsible for disease control and prevention, said 373 people have been confirmed sickened. But figures coming in from local authorities and hospitals made clear many more people are believed to be infected.

"Here in Hamburg we're pretty much at the epicenter," Jorg Debatin, medical director of the Hamburg Medical Center, told CNN. His hospital has 600 to 700 infected patients, Debatin said. About 20% to 30% of them develop hemolytic-uremic syndrome, or HUS, "a very severe complication," he said.

The hospital is especially concerned about 85 patients - 20 children and 65 adults - who may go into renal failure and develop neurologic symptoms, he said. While authorities worked to contain and respond to the outbreak, the specific cause remained unclear.

The European Food Safety Alert Network said EHEC, or enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli, a strain of E. coli that causes hemorrhage in the intestines, was found in organic cucumbers originating from Spain, packaged in Germany, and distributed to countries including Austria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Luxembourg and Spain.

But the source has not yet been pinpointed, authorities said.

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Filed under: Germany • Health
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Adolph

    The ghost of Hitler strikes again.

    May 31, 2011 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
  2. Bob 2

    Ellis, where are you? Post something real nasty please. You sound like a real man when you do that.

    May 31, 2011 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
  3. Cosmotologist to the Stars

    I herd that if you rub doodoo all over yourself it will protect you from gettting sick. Plus it makes your skin nice and moist.

    May 31, 2011 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
  4. Barney Frank (D-Mass)

    @Cosmo. Duh. Tell us something we don't already know.

    May 31, 2011 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
  5. Ellis-From Panama

    O my. I hope Bob 2 won't get sick

    May 31, 2011 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Bob 2

    I will get sick if I don't hear from you Ellis. Please start posting some nasty things. I feel bad when you hide.

    May 31, 2011 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
  7. jmc

    U people seriously need a mental evaluation people r seriosly ill and dying find something constructive 2 do

    May 31, 2011 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Joey

    E. Coli is completely unrelated to Adolf Hitler.
    What a lame attempt at humor! Invoking Hitler's name for jokes and insults became boring long ago.
    Try to get verbal.

    May 31, 2011 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Prominant Jew

    Come home Joey.

    May 31, 2011 at 9:06 pm | Report abuse |