Jun 2, 2011

European ecoli outbreak... scaring shit out of people

LONDON – Scientists on Thursday blamed Europe's worst recorded food-poisoning outbreak on a "super-toxic" strain of E. coli bacteria that may be brand new.

But while suspicion has fallen on raw tomatoes, cucumbers and lettuce as the source of the germ, researchers have been unable to pinpoint the food responsible for the frightening illness, which has killed at least 18 people, sickened more than 1,600 and spread to least 10 European countries.  Worse, its apparently resistant to many antibiotics.

An alarmingly large number of victims — about 500 — have developed kidney complications that can be deadly.

Picture:  A laboratory worker looks for strains of E.coli bacteria in vegetable cells placed in a petri dish, in La Mojonera near Almeria in southeastern Spain June 2, 2011. 

The WHO recommends that to avoid food-borne illnesses, people wash their hands, keep raw meat separate from other foods, thoroughly cook their food, and wash fruits and vegetables, especially if eaten raw. Experts also recommend peeling raw fruits and vegetables if possible.

The fact that the strain may be new may have complicated the response to the outbreak.
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