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Deadly E.coli Outbreak in Europe

Here’s sobering news for people thinking of traveling to Europe this summer.  A new strain of the deadly E.coli bacterium has broken out in Germany, and it has spread to several other European countries, including Great Britain.

This strain of E.coli infection can cause a deadly complication called “hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS), which infects the blood and kidneys. The outbreak appears to have started in Germany, where more than 1500 cases have been reported.

Sean Gallup, Getty Images

It’s a completely new strain of this deadly bacterium. The outbreak was originally blamed on Spanish cucumbers, but that hasn’t been established. No one is sure what is causing it, but medical laboratories around the world are working to find the cause.

To date, more than 1,500 people have been infected and 18 have died: 17 in Germany and one in Sweden. In the UK, three British nationals have been infected, and all of them had visited Germany.

Scientists and medical experts say the situation is bad, and it could get much worse.  Some say they may never know what’s causing it.

via BBC News – Outbreak is new form of E. coli.

Since the outbreak appears to be centered in Germany, health officials are advising vacationers to think twice about travelling to Germany, but if they do go there, they should avoid eating raw vegetables such as cucumbers, lettuce and tomatoes.  They should also should get medical attention if they have bloody diarrhea.

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