Escherichia coli (E.coli) are very common bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract, and part of the normal bacterial flora. However, some E.coli strains are able to produce a toxin that could produce serious infection. Humans acquire the infection by consuming contaminated food or water. Following an incubation period of about 3–4 days, a variety of gastrointestinal symptoms appear, ranging from mild to severe bloody diarrhoea, mostly without fever.
Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) is a group of pathogenic Escherichia coli strains capable of producing Shiga toxins, with the potential to cause severe enteric and systemic disease in humans.
Read more about E.coli and STEC
Data on annual reported human cases: graphs and tables
UPDATE, 28 July 2011
Following the declaration by Robert Koch Institute Germany on 26 July 2011 of the end of the outbreak in Germany, and no new cases being reported from other EU Member States, ECDC will no longer be issuing daily epidemiological updates on this website. Together with Member States, ECDC continues to monitor for STEC O104 cases in the EU/EEA as part of its routine surveillance activities and provide updates through the ECDC Communicable Disease Threat Report.