Posts tagged ‘Hamburg’

June 8, 2011

Scientists link e.coli epidemic to mutation of earlier 2001 bug outbreak in Munster, Germany

[Renate Von Kuznig, Health Contributor]

Wall Street Journal:  Not cucumbers, not sprouts, not tomatoes – what then is responsible for the ongoing deaths (up to 28 or so) and the thousands being made ill by the e.coli infections hitting Germany and frightening the world?  The culprit it seems is to be none other than an evolved and extremely toxic version of a bug first identified in Münster, Germany, way back in 2001 say scientists.

According to Alexander Mellmann at the University Hospital of Munster: “Everything we know so far indicates it is an evolved strain…if it was completely unknown, we’d struggle a lot more in our effort to fight it.”

Researchers at BGI and University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf researchers who seem to agree with Dr. Mellmann after looking at material belonging to the 2001 and 2011 strains of the bug and found that seven genes crucial to both bugs’ existence are the same as well as 12 others.

The 2001 outbreak had affected around five identified people world-wide and had never really been identified and eradicated and the scientists’ genetic analysis has shown up that as the earlier bug has interacted with the newer one, it has become stronger and is practically drug-resistant.

Nearly all the 2700, or so cases of the bug infection and associated deaths can be traced back to Germany.

May 31, 2011

“Not our vegetables to blame, its German food!”, Spain says after accusations from Germany that its vegetables caused the country’s deadly e.coli outbreak

[Peter Skelps, Epidemics Contributor]

BBC News: Spain is furious with the Germans for passing the buck to it for Germany‘s recent bad food outbreak which is making thousands seriously ill and so far has killed around 20 over Germany.

Angry Manuel Jose, a Spanish tourist in Hamburg, told iTOD Daily news contributor, Peter Skelps: “It’s nothing to do with Spain and Spanish food. It’s just a big cover up by the Germans to hide their own bad food. Bad food poisoning in Germany has always been a time bomb. Go to any fast food place, or cafe – they all touch money and everything with their hands and then handle your food with the same hands. Restaurant attendants and kitchen hands there even go to the bathroom and handle your food after without washing their hands. It’s them to blame, not us and it’s certainly nothing to do with our cucumbers.

He went on to say: “So they are bothered about 20 deaths…what about the 140,000 Germans that die each and every year directly from smoking tobacco in Germany. Instead of continuing to encourage Germans to smoke, shouldn’t they  stop trying to kill them all?”

Spain’s agricultural minister has said that Germany has no reliable data to link the poisoning to Spanish vegetables.  This view has since been echoed by a number of German officials who have expressed mixed views concerning the matter.

The outbreak has killed around fifteen Germans and one Swedish woman who died after eating German food.

The Robert Koch Institute (RKI), which is Germany’s national disease institute, has confirmed that since the outbreak, which appears to be worsening, over 1,150 people in  Germany have been contaminated by enterohaemorrhagic E. coli (‘EHEC‘) which in turn has led to Haemolytic-uraemic Syndrome (HUS), which causes kidney problems and can kill. Germany has 373 cases of HUS currently.