Thailand finds E. coli in European cabbage

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Thailand said on Saturday that it had detected E. coli in cabbage imported from Europe and was checking whether it was the lethal strain involved in a killer outbreak in northern Germany.

The country, which had a false alarm about a shipment of European avocados earlier in the week, has urged the public not to panic, noting that there are several types of E. coli.

"We need three to five days to check on the bacteria's strain," said Sathaporn Wongcharoen, director general of the Medical Science Department of the Public Health Ministry.

On Friday Thailand said that E. coli found in avocados a day earlier was not the deadly strain that has swept Europe in recent weeks.

German officials have said they are now confident that sprouts grown at a farm in the north of the country are the source of the highly virulent strain of bacteria that has killed at least 33 and left some 3,000 ill.

All confirmed fatalities, three of which were reported Friday, have been in Germany except for one woman who died in Sweden after visiting Germany.

People in at least 14 countries have also been made ill by the outbreak, most of them having recently visited northern Germany. Symptoms include stomach cramps, diarrhoea, fever and vomiting.

© 2011 AFP

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