Poland confirms second case of killer bacteria

8th June 2011, Comments 0 comments

Poland on Wednesday confirmed its second case of the lethal new E. coli bacteria, with a seven-year-old boy falling ill after contact with his father who recently returned from Germany, authorities said.

"We have two confirmed cases and a dozen suspected cases," Jan Bondar, spokesman for Poland's State Sanitation Inspectorate (GIS) told AFP Wednesday.

On Monday the GIS announced Poland's first case of infection by the bacteria which has claimed at least 24 lives, all but one in Germany.

A 29-year-old woman who arrived in Poland from Germany's Hamburg region was hospitalised on May 23 in Szczecin, northwestern Poland, where she was undergoing kidney dialysis, the GIS said, adding that her life was not in immediate danger.

In the second case, "the illness was likely transmitted to the boy by his father who had spent time in Germany. The father had several symptoms himself," Bondar told AFP, adding the child was hospitalised in Warsaw.

Polish media reported the boy was suffering from hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS), or acute renal failure, a condition which mostly affects children infected with E. coli bacteria.

Although HUS is a medical emergency, it has a high recovery rate.

Germany on Wednesday signalled hope that the "worst" of the outbreak was over as German and European Union health and consumer affairs officials met for urgent talks on the crisis.

The number of new infections by the highly virulent strain of E. coli bacteria which has affected more than 2,300 people was dropping, German Health Minister Daniel Bahr said on television Wednesday.

© 2011 AFP

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