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E-coli outbreak hits Northern Europe

0 CommentsPrint E-mail CNTV, May 31, 2011
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European countries have traded blame over the source of a mysterious bacterial outbreak that has killed 14 people and sickened hundreds. German authorities have identified cucumbers from Spain as contamination sources. A third, suspect-batch from either the Netherlands or Denmark is also under investigation.

Deadly E. coli virus in Spanish cucumbers

Deadly E. coli virus in Spanish cucumbers 

German authorities have warned consumers to avoid eating cucumbers and ordered some products removed from store shelves.

The measures were implemented following a recent outbreak linked to contaminated cucumbers.

European health experts said the outbreak was the largest ever in Germany and one of the biggest of its kind worldwide.

Daniel Bahr, German Health Minister, said, "The result is that we unfortunately still have to expect a rising number of cases. There are still indications that the source of the infection is active. This means that great caution is still recommended and that we ask our citizens to be particularly careful."

Authorities were working around the clock to stem the outbreak and clarify how it arose.

An EU official said the transport chain was long, and the cucumbers from Spain could have been contaminated at any point along the route.

Spain responded by saying there was no proof that the outbreak originated from its country.

Leire Pajin, Spanish Health Minister, said, "There is no evidence, nor certainty, which shows that this outbreak is linked with the cucumbers from Spain."

Experts say the disease has now spread to other European countries and expect it to worsen in the coming days.

The World Health Organization described the outbreak as large and severe, and urged countries to work together to get to the root of the problem.

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