Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

WEB NEWS

France's top consumer group sues Internet giants

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users pay tribute to South Korea ferry victims

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

A landslide victory for the 'invisible candidate' in Algeria's Presidential polls

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 18 April 2014

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 18 April 2014 (part 2)

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Presidential adviser resigns over "shoe-shine scandal"

Read more

#THE 51%

Breaking stereotypes

Read more

#TECH 24

Galaxy S5 v. HTC One (M8): Which is the right one for you?

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

New PM Manuel Valls outlines priorities

Read more

  • Why Syria’s cash-strapped jihadists let hostages go

    Read more

  • Video: Ukraine separatist crisis overshadows Easter celebrations

    Read more

  • The Great War's unsung four-legged heroes

    Read more

  • Divers begin pulling bodies from sunken South Korean ferry

    Read more

  • Ukraine rebels call for Russian troops after deadly clash

    Read more

  • UK’s Hamilton cruises to victory at Chinese Grand Prix

    Read more

  • Freed French journalists arrive home after Syria ordeal

    Read more

  • Syria’s Assad visits recaptured Christian town at Easter

    Read more

  • In pictures: French kite festival takes flight

    Read more

  • Le Pen’s National Front fail to woo Britain’s Eurosceptics

    Read more

  • PSG clinch fourth League Cup title after beating Lyon

    Read more

  • Militants kill Algerian soldiers in deadly ambush

    Read more

  • Scores killed in South Sudan cattle raid

    Read more

  • VIDEO: Anti-Semitic leaflets in Eastern Ukraine condemned

    Read more

  • Bouteflika, the ghost president

    Read more

  • Does Valls’ upcoming Vatican trip violate French secularism?

    Read more

  • Ukraine separatists say ‘not bound’ by Geneva deal

    Read more

  • Abel Ferrara’s hotly awaited DSK film to premiere on web

    Read more

  • Obama signs bill to block controversial Iran diplomat from UN post

    Read more

  • Astronomers discover Earth-like planet that could support life

    Read more

  • In pictures: Iranian woman pardons son’s killer at the gallows

    Read more

Europe

German officials report sharp rise in E.coli cases

©

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-06-01

German health officials reported a sharp rise in the number of people infected by a mysterious E.coli outbreak on Wednesday, which has so far killed at least 16 people and made more than 1,500 others ill in eight countries across Europe.

REUTERS - German health officials said on Wednesday there had been a dramatic increase in the number of people infected in an E.coli outbreak which has so far killed 16 and whose source is still unknown.
 
The outbreak, centred on the north German city of Hamburg, has made more than 1,500 people ill in eight European countries, and led to an international row over the source of the contamination.
 
The German disease control agency the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) reported on Wednesday 365 new E.coli cases, a quarter of them involving the hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS), a life-threatening complication of a type of E. coli known as Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC).
 
European Union officials said three cases had also been reported in the United States, adding that most infections reported outside Germany involved German nationals or people who had recently travelled to the country.
 
The RKI figures contradicted remarks by European Union Health Commissioner John Dalli, who said the number of new cases appeared to be in decline.
 
“According to the latest information we have available from Germany, it appears that the outbreak is on the decline. Fewer people have been hospitalised over the past couple of days than before,” Dalli told journalists in Brussels.
 
“Intensive work is taking place to pinpoint the source of contamination ... I urge member states and in particular Germany to increase their efforts in this direction,” he added.
 
German authorities initially identified cucumbers imported from Spain as the likely source of the outbreak.
 
But on Tuesday they admitted that further tests on the cucumbers showed that, while contaminated, they did not carry the dangerous bacteria strain responsible for the deaths.
 
Spain, responding on Wednesday, said it was considering legal action.
 
“We do not rule out taking action against authorities which have cast doubt on the quality of our produce, so action may be taken against the authorities, in this case, of Hamburg,” Deputy Prime Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba told radio station Cadena Ser.
 
Salad, not cucumber, to blame?
 
Paul Hunter, a professor of health protection at Britain’s University of East Anglia, said he was not surprised by the German finding that cucumbers were not to blame.
 
“Cucumbers are not normally implicated in food poisoning outbreaks. They are so easy to clean for a start, and bacteria are less likely to be able to find a protected spot,” he said.
 
“On the other hand, salads are a regular cause of outbreaks of food borne diseases including STEC, like this one, and salmonella. Outbreaks associated with consumption of salads are quite common on both sides of the Atlantic,” he added.
 
Spanish farmers say lost sales resulting from the crisis are costing them 200 million euros ($285 million) a week, and could put 70,000 people out of work in a country which already has the highest unemployment rate in the EU.
 
Health Commissioner Dalli said he was looking at what the European Commission could do about the impact on producers.
 
“We are very sensitive to the impact that this crisis is already having on farmers, in particular vegetable producers.”
 
It would be disproportionate to ban any single product because the source of the outbreak is not known, Dalli said.
 
Several European countries were reported to have blocked entry of Spanish cucumbers, but Dalli said the Commission had received no official confirmation of any import bans.
 
Russia’s consumer protection watchdog repeated a threat to ban all vegetable imports from the EU, having already banned raw vegetable imports from Germany and Spain.
 
“Despite repeated requests, Russia’s consumer protection watchdog has not received information from the European Union about the source of the infection, about dangerous produce or about measures being taken to localise and combat the outbreak,” it said in a statement late on Tuesday.
 
French government spokesman Francois Baroin said the country had taken the precaution of setting up a crisis unit to deal with a possible outbreak in the country, with health officials across France on alert for signs of new cases.

 

Date created : 2011-06-01

  • HEALTH

    Spain slams Germany's handling of 'EU' cucumber crisis

    Read more

  • HEALTH

    Swedish woman dies of 'killer cucumber' outbreak

    Read more

  • HEALTH

    EU officials struggle to find source of killer cucumbers

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)