Tuesday, May 31, 2011

E. coli cucumber scare: Cases 'likely to increase' says German Scientist

A deadly E. coli outbreak in Europe is expected to worsen in coming days, a senior German scientist has said.

Fourteen people have died in Germany and one woman has now died in Sweden after a trip to Germany.

"We hope the number of cases will go down but we fear it will worsen," said Oliver Grieve, of the University Medical Centre Schleswig-Holstein, where many victims are being treated.

It is thought cucumbers from Spain caused the outbreak.

But Spanish officials have refused to accept the blame, saying it is still unclear exactly when and where the vegetables were contaminated.

The president of Spain's fruit and vegetable export federation has urged the government to deal with the outbreak, saying it was costing Spanish exporters $200m (£120m) a week.

Asked which countries had stopped buying Spanish produce, Jorge Brotons reportedly told a news conference: "Almost all Europe. There is a domino effect on all vegetables and fruits." (read more)