Details emerge of Arizona death tied to E.coli outbreak

Reuters News
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Posted: Jun 24, 2011 2:49 PM
Details emerge of Arizona death tied to E.coli outbreak

PHOENIX (Reuters) - More details emerged on Friday of the Arizona resident whose death earlier this month could be linked to the recent fatal E.coli outbreak in Europe.

The Arizona Department of Health Services identified the patient as a man, aged over 65 years, from northern Arizona, who had recently traveled to Germany.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday that they were investigating whether the death of an Arizona resident was linked to an outbreak of the deadly bacteria that has killed around 40 people in Europe, most of them in Germany.

There have been five confirmed cases in the United States of patients who were sickened by the same strain of the bacteria that has swept Europe, the CDC said, although it has yet to confirm if the man's death is linked to the outbreak.

ADHS spokeswoman Laura Oxley said on Friday the man died from hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) -- a type of kidney failure that the CDC said has afflicted at least 823 people in Europe, and killed 29.

"The hospital notified us two days before he died because he had hemolytic uremic syndrome and had a travel history to Germany," Oxley told Reuters.

"The CDC has several samples for testing and they are also doing a lot of the follow up about his travel history from family," she added.

Oxley could not say when results of the tests would be released.

The Robert Koch Institute announced June 10 that raw sprouts from a farm in Germany were the likely source of the outbreak, the CDC reported.

(Reporting by Tim Gaynor; Editing by Greg McCune)