Sweden probing German-type E. coli case

28th June 2011, Comments 0 comments

Swedish health authorities said Tuesday they were probing a case of infection with the E. coli strain that caused a deadly outbreak in Germany, in a man who had not been to that country.

It is the first time that a case turns up in Sweden in a person with no direct link to Germany, doctor Karin Tegmark Wisell of the Swedish Institute for Communicable Disease Control told AFP.

"An EHEC (enterohaemorrhagic E. coli) case of the same specific type as the outbreak in Germany has been identified in Sweden," the institute announced in a statement.

The patient, a middle-aged man from the south of Sweden, "has not been to Germany and there is no obvious link to Germany. He's not been abroad at all and he has not been close to anyone who has been to Germany or has been sick related to the German cases," Tegmark Wisell said.

"We've had several cases (of the same type of bacteria as in the German outbreak) in Sweden, but all of these cases have been visitors in Germany or closely related family members. This is the first case where we see no obvious link to the German cases," she added.

The institute said it was looking for the source of contamination.

The man became ill with bloody diarrhea mid-June but was feeling better, it added.

An outbreak of killer E. coli blamed on organic vegetable sprouts grown in northern Germany, has killed 48 people, German health authorities said.

All the fatalities were in Germany, except for a woman in Sweden who died after being infected in Germany.

It has also made ill some 3,900 people, some 850 of them seriously, the World Health Organization has said.

The Swedish Institute for Communicable Disease Control repeated a consumer advice not to eat raw vegetables sprouts.

© 2011 AFP

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