FOODBORNE DISEASE NEWS SCAN: More E coli in Germany, listeriosis deaths

Jun 21, 2011

E coli cases in German outbreak increase by 93
Ninety-three more cases of enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) were reported in Germany today, including 4 cases with hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) and 89 without it, but there were no new deaths, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). The latest reports increased the totals in the current outbreak to 3,697 cases with 40 deaths in 16 countries—856 HUS cases with 28 deaths and 2,841 EHEC cases with 12 deaths, the WHO's European regional office said. All the new cases were in Germany. US cases remained at five, including three HUS and one EHEC.
Jun 21 WHO update
Jun 21 ECDC update
In related developments, Russia's chief veterinary officer said Russia may ban German meat because of the outbreak, according to RIA Novosti. And in the United Kingdom, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) said vegetable growers were told they could apply for funds from a European Union program set up to compensate growers for losses due to the outbreak.
Jun 21 RIA Novosti report
Jun 20 DEFRA statement

Study: Alcoholism, heart disease raise risk of death from listeriosis
UK researchers found that alcoholism, heart disease, increasing age, and treatment to reduce stomach acid secretion raise the risk of dying from Listeria, a common and often deadly foodborne pathogen. In an Epidemiology and Infection study published today, scientists examined 1,864 listeriosis cases (case-fatality rate [CFR] 41%) in England and Wales that were reported to the Health Protection Agency from 1990 to 2009 and did not involve pregnancy, a known risk factor. In addition to detecting independent risk factors using unconditional multivariate logistic regression analysis, the researchers found that the absence of a concurrent condition and the presence of autoimmune disease both lowered the risk of death. In analyzing a subset of 694 cases (CFR, 38%) for the effects of antibiotic therapy, they found that antibiotics had a protective effect against death and that becoming infected in winter or spring raised the risk of dying.

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