Jun 12 2011

Superbug E. coli 0104:H4 Again Tied to Bean Sprouts. Death Rate Rises! Graehm Gray

Hello my fans and here we go again. German authorities have again said that they are looking into bean sprouts from an organic farm in Lower Saxony, as the cause of the contaminated vegetables. Meanwhile the death rate has climbed to 30 with over 3000 people infected. The organic farm in question (Gaertnerhof Farm) has apparently been shut down and is no longer sending produce to market. Authorities have said its okay to start eating tomatoes, lettuce and cucumbers but to avoid bean sprouts.

E. coli is a bacterium that is found in the intestines of animals and humans. Produce (fruits and vegetables), does not produce this bacteria. So the fruits and vegetables get contaminated by the manure of animals (and humans). It is also suspected that animals that are fed antibiotics to prevent infections (or treat infections), produce a resistant strain of E. coli leading to the development of the new super strains of E. coli (e.g. Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli 0104:H4) we are seeing.

According to the CDC:

Shiga-toxin producing E. coli (STEC) infections can cause different gastrointestinal symptoms, which often include severe stomach cramps, diarrhea (often bloody), and vomiting. If there is fever, it is generally not very high (less than 101°F [38.3°C]). Hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS) is a disorder that usually occurs when an infection in the digestive system (such as STEC) produces toxic substances that destroy red blood cells and cause kidney injury. Early symptoms of HUS include decreased frequency or volume of urination, feeling very tired, and losing pink color in the cheeks and inside the lower eyelids. Signs of HUS typically start 5–7 days after the start of diarrhea, and diarrhea or bloody stools may no longer be present when HUS develops.

If you have traveled to this part of the world and have any of the above symptoms, please seek medical attention immediately.

My friends stay fit and healthy The Nerdel Way. 

Helpful links:

  1. Robert Koch Institut: http://www.rki.de/EN/Home/homepage__node.html
  2. CDC – Frequently Asked Questions:  http://www.cdc.gov/nczved/divisions/dfbmd/diseases/ecoli_o157h7/
  3. World Health Organization: http://www.who.int/csr/d
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