Six children in hospital with E. coli

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Six children were being treated in hospital on Thursday in the northern French town of Lille for food poisoning related to a rare strain of E.coli bacteria, health authorities said.

The six were in stable condition in hospital in the northern city after having consumed suspect ground beef, officials said.

The case comes after a major E.coli outbreak that killed 38 people -- all in Germany except for one woman who died in Sweden after visiting Germany -- and sickened 3,300 people in 116 countries.

"This morning we have six children in hospital in Lille for a food infection linked to an E. coli bacteria," a spokeswoman for the regional health authority told AFP.

All the children were stable, she said and their lives were not in danger although three were undergoing dialysis after suffering episodes of bloody diarrhoea.

The E. coli outbreak in Lille did not appear to be linked to the German outbreak, she said.

The suspected frozen ground beef sold under the brand 'Steak Country' at the Lidl store chain was made by a firm in northern France, SEB, that said in a statement it had issued a recall of all suspected produce.

© 2011 AFP

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