E. coli O104 - EU: case update

For more than 10 days, the number of reported cases of hemolyticuremic syndrome (HUS)/enterohemorrhagic _E. coli_ (EHEC) has declinedsignificantly. In Germany, the daily numbers of reported cases havesteadily decreased since they peaked, on 21 May 2011 for HUS and on 22and 23 May 2011 for EHEC. Nevertheless, the cumulative numbers ofcases from Germany continue to rise, primarily owing to delays innotification.

Investigations by the German authorities indicate that the vehicle ofthe bacterium responsible for the outbreak, enteroaggregativeverocytotoxin-producing _Escherichia coli_ (EAggEC VTEC) O104:H4, isbean and seed sprouts, and the Robert Koch Institute has warned peoplein Germany not to eat raw bean and seed sprouts of any origin.

Note: There are 3604 HUS and EHEC cases in total, including 40fatalities. The latest date of onset of diarrhea for a HUS case is 12Jun 2011 and for an EHEC case, 13 Jun 2011. All but 5 of the above HUSand EHEC cases were in people who had traveled to or lived in Germanyduring the incubation period for infection, typically 3-4 days afterexposure (range: 2-10 days). The remaining 5 cases can also be linked to the outbreak in Germany.

EHEC and HUS have exclusive notification categories, so case numbers should not overlap. The figures in any rapidly evolving outbreak, however, are provisional and subject to change for a variety of

Source:  WHO update