Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Two-Year-Old Boy Dies In E.coli Outbreak Bringing Death toll to 37 - 14th June 2011

A two-year-old boy has become the youngest victim of the deadly E.coli bacteria in Germany, the 37th person to die in the outbreak.

The child lost his battle with the killer bug after spending several days in intensive care at a hospital in the northern city of Hanover.

His father and two siblings also fell ill but were recovering, authorities said.

He is the first child fatality since the outbreak began in Germany in May.

A 20-year-old woman was previously the youngest victim linked to the epidemic, which authorities have blamed on bean sprouts and shoots from a German organic farm.

The boy's death comes as Europe's main disease control centre, the Robert Koch Institute, said the number of new infections appeared to be declining.

More than 3,200 people have so far been taken ill with the E.coli strain in 14 European countries plus the United States and Canada.

About a quarter of them have developed the serious complication called haemolytic uraemic syndrome, which affects the blood, kidneys and nervous system.

German Health Minister Daniel Bahr warned more deaths were possible, with one expert saying that around 100 patients would need a kidney transplant or require dialysis treatment for the rest of their lives.

The latest death also comes on the same day the European Union approved 210 million euros (£187m) in emergency aid for vegetable farmers hit by the fallout from the E.coli outbreak.

But farmers have said it is not enough with one produce grower in France reacting by dumping a tip-truck load of cucumbers in front of the prefecture headquarters in the southwestern city of Perpignan. Source