Scientists continue to work to identify the source of the new deadly strain of E. coli bacteria that has infected over 2,200 people in 12 European countries. “This is a unique strain that has never been isolated from patients before,” Hilde Kruse, a food safety expert at WHO, told The Associated Press. The new strain has “various characteristics that make it more virulent and toxin-producing” than the many E. coli strains people naturally carry in their intestines.
Despite speculation over the weekend that the outbreak could be traced to a German bean sprout farm, the search for the source continues. German authorities on Sunday issued a warning against eating any sprouts and repeated earlier warnings against eating tomatoes, cucumbers and lettuce. The WHO is recommending the usual precautions to avoid illnesses that are transmitted by raw food — wash hands before eating or cooking and wash and peel all fruits and vegetables, especially if eaten raw.
HTB will continue to monitor what is turning out to be the worst outbreak of E. coli-related illness in eleven years, and already the third-largest involving E. coli in recent world history.
Photo by agrilifetoday.