Saturday, May 28, 2011

Spanish Killer Cucumber death toll hits 5 as three new E.coli cases are treated in UK

FIVE people have died after eating contaminated cucumber.

And yesterday it was revealed three new cases are being treated in Britain.

The deadly E.coli outbreak began in Germany, with dodgy salad ingredients believed to be imported from Spain.

In addition to the five fatalities, 300 are in hospital as German medics brace themselves for a wave of new admissions. Many of the victims, mostly women, are fighting for ther lives in intensive care.

Those being treated here are all Germans who have travelled from their homeland and fallen ill after entering the UK.

It is understood the suspect cucumbers, and other salad items, which may have been contaminated during shipment, have not been sold in Britain. But the UK Health Protection Agency said checks are continuing.

A spokesman warned anyone travelling to Germany, especially the Hamburg area, to avoid eating raw tomatoes, cucumbers and lettuce.

Ten other cases have been reported in Sweden, four in Denmark, and one in the Netherlands. Authorities warned people who have recently visited Germany to seek urgent help for symptoms such as bloody diarrhoea.

In extreme cases the bug can result in renal failure, strokes, coma and death.

Manchester University researchers have identified the E.coli strain as HUSEC 41 – one of 42 types that have emerged since 1996.

They are now working on a test to tell immediately if someone is infected as Spanish health chiefs try to find the source of the outbreak.

A spokesman for the European Commission said last night: “We are keeping a very close watch on the situation.” Source