Thursday, June 2, 2011

Russia Bans Fresh Vegetable Imports from EU

In the light of the European E.Coli crisis, Russia has announced that it was banning imports of raw vegetables from the European Union because of the E. coli outbreak. The head of the Russian consumer protection agency Gennady Onishchenko said that that ban came into effect this morning. This is a development from the ban placed on vegetable imports by Russia on Germany and Spain last month.
You may also wish to read:
Story: Two in U.S. infected in European E. coli Outbreak
Story: WHO - European E.Coli Update

WHO: European EColi Update

The WHO has reported that the E. coli strain responsible for the deadly outbreak in Europe is a new bacteria that has never been seen before. Preliminary genetic sequencing by scientists suggests that the strain is a mutant form of two different E. coli bacterium. The genes contained within it are highly virulent and produce a lethal toxin. This maybe the reason why this outbreak is so extensive and dangerous.

Hilde Kruse, a food safety expert at the World Health Organization, said:
 this is a unique strain that has never been isolated from patients before
Today on its website, the WHO noted 10 countries in Europe including Sweden, Austria, Denmark, France, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom have all reported patients with two disease related to the bacteria: haemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS) and enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC). It is believed that 17 people in Germany, and sickened more than 1,500 others, including 470 who have developed a rare kidney failure complication. It further said that as of May 31, nine patients in Germany had died of HUS and six of EHEC, and one person in Sweden had also died. There are many hospitalized patients, several of them requiring intensive care, including dialysis.

Investigations are continuing into the cause of the outbreak, which is at present unclear. 

Source: Various

You may also wish to read:
Story: Two in U.S. infected in European E. coli outbreak
Story: Russia Bans Fresh Vegetable Imports from EU

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Two US Residents Infested in European E.Coli Outbreak

Two U.S. residents who traveled in northern Germany may have been affected by the massive outbreak of food poisoning in Europe. Federal health officials confirmed Tuesday that the victims have been hospitalized with serious, life-threatening complications of E. coli infections.

The deputy director of food borne, bacterial and mycotic diseases at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Infection observed that:
we have never seen that organism before
The American victims have not yet been identified by name or state.

The FDA say is also flagging incoming produce especially cucumbers, lettuce and tomatoes from Spanish growers implicated in the outbreak for further inspection.