E.coli Bacteria in Cucumbers Kills 14 People in Berlin
As many as 14 people were killed and hundreds of people must undergo serious treatment because they are suspected to be contaminated with E.coli bacteria. This bacteria are thought to have come from cucumbers which are imported from Spain.
“We hope this case incidence rate declines, but we are also concerned that this incident could get worse,” said a spokesman for the Medical Center of Schleswig-Holstein University in northern Germany, according to Reuters.
The German government said the source of the virulent strains of bacteria is not yet known. But they have identified a pathogenic E. coli bacteria on a cucumber imported from Spain. It is not yet known for sure whether it was contaminated in Spain or when it was transported to Germany.
Authorities found 36 suspected cases of E. coli in Sweden. A similar case was reported in England, Denmark, France and the Netherlands. “Everyone were associated with a trip to Germany,” authorities said.
The Government has also identified the pathogen as a hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS), a serious complication of a type of E. coli known as E. coli Shiga that produces toxin (STEC). HUS affects the blood and kidneys. In severe cases, it affects the nervous system and become very serious in children and the elderly.
Grieve also said that the hospitals had handled 82 cases of HUS and 115 cases of confirmed E. Coli.
Spain denied the definitive source of the contaminated vegetable. They also asked for EU help to offset the damage. “Image of Spain is damaged, the manufacturers also. And the government is not prepared to accept this situation, “said Minister of Agriculture Rosa Aguilar to the local medias.
Russia had also anticipated the entry of cucumber by banning imports from Germany and Spain. They urged consumers to buy local products.
German Health Minister Daniel Bahr indicated that the source of infection is still active. To the media, Bahr said that they are working on how to resolve this case. National disease control centers of Germany, Robert Koch Institute advised not to consume raw cucumber, tomato and lettuce. “Especially if the vegetables are purchased from northern Germany,” he said.