Jun 05 2011

Deadly E. coli Outbreak Related To Bean Sprouts: Graehm Gray

Hello my fans and welcome to another breaking news story: the cause of the deadly super E. coli (Escherichia coli) bacteria that has killed 22 people and affected over 2200, has been found to be related to bean sprouts grown in the Lower Saxony region of Germany. Several cases of the super E. coli 0104:H4 (STEC0104:H4) bacteria have been found in the United States, in people that had traveled to Germany.  The E. coli illness has been reported in patients all over Europe and is caused by eating raw tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce and bean sprouts. Apparently washing the vegetables has little effect on this super bug. 

Symptoms from a crampy and bloody diarrhea to a deadly hemolytic-uremic syndrome producing kidney failure, a blood disorder and brain disease are being seen in people affected by this super bacteria.  Women  and people over the age of 20 seem to be the likely target.  Is it because women eat more salads? It also is different in that the time from exposure to onset of symptoms maybe upwards of 12 days.  And the kicker is that it seems to be resistant to all of our available antibiotics! This bacteria produces a toxin (Shiga toxin) which is a byproduct produced by some bacteria. The problem is that when the antibiotics kills the bacteria, the toxins are released and some of these toxins are more deadly than the bacteria itself and cause many of the  symptoms being seen.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), all four United States cases of the super E. coli 0104 bacteria, a hybrid form toxic to humans, are from those individuals that traveled to Hamburg, Germany. The CDC issued a travel advisory for all Americans visiting Germany: AVOID EATING RAW TOMATOES, FRESH CUCUMBERS AND LEAFY SALADS. The health warnings also say that anyone who has traveled to Germany and has become ill with bloody diarrhea, stomach cramps, vomiting, fever and other symptoms, should immediately see a doctor.

As a side note, E. coli, lives inside the intestines of all of us. It actually helps the body break down and digest the foods we eat and supply us with Vitamins K and B-complex. E. coli is so everywhere! Anytime we eat, drink or touch something that has been a part or near where an animal has been, we have the chance of ingesting E. Coli. Purell anyone?

So bottom line: wash your hands frequently. Follow the CDC travel advisory if you are traveling to Germany. See a doctor if you have been to this part of the world and have any of the symptoms discussed above.

My friends, stay fit and healthy The Nerdel Way.


CDC and E. Coli: www.cdc.gov/ecoli/

CDC and travel health advisories: www.cdc.gov/travel/


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