Woman infected in Germany dies of E.coli in Sweden: hospital

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A woman in her 50s who was infected with E.coli in Germany died in Sweden Tuesday, the hospital where she was treated said, becoming the first death from the so-called killer cucumber bacteria outside of Germany.

"A woman in her 50s who has been treated for EHEC (the pathogenic agent in the enterohaemorrhagic E. coli) after a trip to Germany has today died at the Soedra Aelvborg hospital in Boraas," in southwestern Sweden, the hospital said in a statement.

"The woman was admitted to hospital on May 29," it said, adding that a man in his 70s was also being treated for EHEC at the hospital, but with only mild symptoms.

The Swedish Institute for Communicable Disease Control said Monday the number of EHEC cases so far detected in Sweden had risen to 39, including 15 who had contracted full-blown haemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS), a disease that causes bloody diarrhoea and serious liver damage and which can result in death.

The victims, spread across Sweden, were all believed to have been infected in Germany, where 14 people so far have died from the bacteria which most likely can be traced to contaminated vegetables.

Cucumbers from Spain are believed to be the most likely culprit, according to German authorities, leading a number of countries to ban imports of Spanish vegetables.

© 2011 AFP

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