German authorities lower bacteria toll to 24

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German authorities lowered the confirmed death toll from an outbreak of E. coli bacteria poisoning to a total of 24 Tuesday after a state health office corrected its tally.

A spokeswoman for the Robert Koch Institute, the national public health centre, said that it had taken one fatality off the list after the Bavarian health office said the person had not died of the same infection.

Authorities in the northern state of Lower Saxony reported earlier that two elderly women died on May 31 and June 1 respectively of complications linked to the enterohaemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC).

All but one of the deaths reported since mid-May have occurred in Germany. The other fatality was a woman in Sweden who had recently returned from Germany.

Authorities are yet to identify the source of the outbreak, which has left more than 2,300 people ill at least 14 countries. German consumers are being advised to avoid raw sprouts, cucumbers, tomatoes and lettuce.

© 2011 AFP

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