Suspected E.coli infection reported in Spain

31st May 2011, Comments 0 comments

A 40-year-old man who recently returned from Germany is intensive care in Spain with a possible E.coli inflection, a hospital in northern Spain said Tuesday.

The patient was admitted May 20 and then placed in intensive care after his condition deteriorated, said a statement by the Donostia hospital in San Sebastian.

"Until we have the necessary results we cannot confirm that this is a food infection by the E.coli bacteria," the hospital said.

Spanish media said the patient had travelled to Germany and Czech Republic shortly before being admitted to the gastro-enterology department of the hospital.

If confirmed it would be the first case in Spain since an outbreak of E. coli bacteria poisoning erupted in Europe two weeks ago, sickening hundreds and reportedly killing 14 in Germany.

Germany has said it detected the potentially dangerous bacteria on cucumbers imported from southern Spain.

But Madrid has rejected any blame.

The Spanish government said there had been no infections in Spain and it insisted there was no evidence the infection came from the cucumbers' origin in Spain rather than in later handling elsewhere.

Enterohaemorrhagic E. coli can result in full-blown haemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS), a disease that causes bloody diarrhoea and serious liver damage and which can result in death.

© 2011 AFP

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