Germany hunts deadly E. coli source
Germany: Germany said Sunday it was pulling out all the stops
to locate the exact source of an outbreak of E. coli bacteria poisoning
blamed for 10 deaths, which authorities suspect may have originated in
Spain. “Until experts in Germany and Spain are able to positively
identify the source of the pathogen, general warnings about vegetables
remain valid,” Consumer Affairs Minister Ilse Aigner told the Bild am
“The relevant authorities are doing all they can to clear this up,
nationally and internationally.”
The European Commission said on Friday that organic cucumbers from
southern Spain have been confirmed as a source of the outbreak of
enterohaemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) poisoning.
Germany’s national disease institute, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI),
has said two deaths were from haemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS), a
disease caused by EHEC that can lead to bloody diarrhoea and serious
But there are eight other suspected HUS deaths, and the RKI has said
that close to 300 people have contracted the disease in recent weeks.
Normally about 60 people in Germany a year contract HUS.
Spanish authorities said Saturday they had introduced restrictions on
Andalusia’s regional council said suspect batches had been withdrawn
pending tests, results of which were due on Monday.
But the European Commission said a batch of cucumbers originating
either in The Netherlands or in Denmark, and traded in Germany, was also
The deaths included four fatalities announced on Saturday in the
northern state of Schleswig-Holstein and in Hamburg, including three
women in their 80s and a fourth in her 30s.
Nine of those who have died so far are women.
Berlin, Monday, AFP