Germany: 3,408 infected with E.coli

AP News
Posted: Jun 17, 2011 10:09 AM
Germany: 3,408 infected with E.coli

New sicknesses are still being reported in the European E. coli outbreak that has killed 39, but Germany's national disease control center said Friday indications are that the crisis is tapering off.

The number of reported infections in Germany, the epicenter of the outbreak, is now up to 3,408, including 798 people who have developed a serious complication that can lead to kidney failure _ about 100 more overall cases than the day before _ the Robert Koch Institute said.

Still, Robert Koch spokeswoman Susanne Glasmacher said all evidence is that the outbreak remains on the decline.

"It sometimes takes days until we get reports about infected persons," Glasmacher said. "In general we can say that the number of infected persons is continuing to go down."

Thirty-eight people have died in Germany and one in Sweden in the epidemic, which was traced last week to sprouts from a farm in northern Germany.

According to the World Health Organization more than 100 people have been infected in 13 other European countries, Canada and the U.S.

Germany's health minister has warned that although the outbreak is abating, more deaths are possible.

On Friday, health officials in the Netherlands said a strain of E. coli found on Dutch beet sprouts last week has not been seen before in the country and that researchers sent samples for further analysis to labs in Italy and Denmark.

Nobody appears to have been sickened by the strain, the Dutch Food Safety Authority said.

Dutch Health Minister Edith Schippers said the fresh round of tests will likely take weeks.


Mike Corder contributed to this report from The Hague