France links five more cases to E coli cluster

Jul 11, 2011 (CIDRAP News) – French public health officials have linked five more Escherichia coli O104:H4 infections to the cluster of Bordeaux patients who ate sprouts at an event in early June, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) reported today.

Three of the five case-patients had attended the event in Begles. One of them has hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a potentially fatal kidney complication. The other two patients, one of whom has HUS, were infected by others who were sick, the ECDC said. The newly reported infections raise the Bordeaux E coli O104:H4 cluster to 11 cases, including 8 people with HUS.

In another development, the United Kingdom confirmed another infection, in a visitor from Germany who had traveled from Hamburg. The UK's Health Protection Agency (HPA) said in a Jul 7 statement that one of the patients it had earlier linked to the outbreak was found to have a different illness, and the case has been deleted from its total, which the HPA said stands at 17, including three with HUS. All of the cases have been microbiologically confirmed, and all are related to German travel.

Meanwhile, Germany reported 18 more E coli O104:H4 infections, including five with HUS, according to the ECDC's update. The new cases from France, the United Kingdom, and Germany push Europe's outbreak total to 3,798, including 757 with HUS. No new deaths were reported, keeping the fatality level at 44.

German health officials on Jul 8 extended a ban on fenugreek products to herbal remedies that contain ground fenugreek seeds, Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA) reported. The country's Federal Drugs Institute recalled specific production lots of powdered fenugreek seeds because they are in the lots from Egypt that officials suspect may be contaminated by E coli, based on product trace-forward investigations. The fenugreek powder is used as a treatment for ulcers and other digestive problems, according to the report.

See also:

Jul 11 ECDC update

Jul 7 HPA statement

Jul 8 DPA story

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