New cases of illness caused by E Coli in Germany are continuing to fall according to the Health Protection Agency.
Since our last update on Thursday 16 June, the German authorities have reported 37 new cases of Haemolytic Uraemic Syndrome (HUS, bringing the total to 823. A further 347 new cases of bloody diarrhoea VTEC or EHEC infection, caused by E. coli O104) were reported, bringing the total to 2,865.
Four more deaths have been reported in Germany since last Thursday - all from HUS. The total number of deaths from the outbreak now stands at 43 – 30 from HUS (29 in Germany, one in Sweden) and 13 from bloody diarrhoea (all in Germany).
No new cases of bloody diarrhoea possibly linked to the outbreak have been reported to the HPA since last Thursday. An alternative diagnosis has been found for one case of bloody diarrhoea previously linked to the outbreak and has subsequently been eliminated from the UK figures. The total number of cases in the UK therefore stands at 17 – three HUS (all in England) and 14 bloody diarrhoea (13 cases in England, one in Scotland). To date, six of these have been microbiologically confirmed. All 17 cases are related to travel to Germany.
The German authorities have reported that locally grown sprouted seeds such as lentils, alfalfa seeds, fenugreek and adzuki beans were implicated as the vehicle of infection and the current advice is to avoid eating these in Germany. They are also advising that people no longer need to avoid eating raw tomato, lettuce and cucumber.
The HPA advises travellers to Germany to follow the advice from the German authorities and avoid eating locally grown sprouted seeds until further notice.