E. coli death toll rises to 47: Germany

28th June 2011, Comments 0 comments

A killer strain of E. coli bacteria has claimed four more lives in Germany, bringing the death toll to 47, German health authorities said Tuesday.

All but one of the fatalities from enterohaemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) were in Germany, the other being a woman in Sweden who had recently returned from Germany.

The outbreak, blamed on organic vegetable sprouts grown in northern Germany, has made about 3,800 people ill in 16 countries, some 850 of them seriously, the World Health Organization has said.

The daily numbers of reported cases have steadily decreased since peaking end May. Nevertheless, the cumulative numbers of cases from Germany continue to rise, primarily owing to delays in notification,.

A study publish in British medical journal The Lancet on Thursday suggested the strain was a genetic mix whose ability to stick to intestinal walls may have made it so lethal.

© 2011 AFP

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