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Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC): Update on outbreak in Germany and cluster in France (27 June 2011, 11:00)

27 Jun 2011

Update since 25 June (11:00):

In the EU/EEA, 880 HUS cases, including 31 deaths, and 3 039 non-HUS cases, including 16 deaths have so far been reported. The table below shows the distribution of reported cases per country. Germany reports seven additional HUS cases and one new HUS death since the last update, as well as 77 non-HUS STEC cases and two non-HUS deaths. Denmark reports one new non-HUS STEC case. The latest known date of onset of diarrhoea for cases is 22 June.

On Friday 24 June, France reported a cluster of eight patients with bloody diarrhoea, after having participated in an event in the commune of Bègles around Bordeaux on 8 June. Of these, seven have developed HUS, a severe complication of E. coli infection. Six of the patients are women between 31-78 years of age, and two are men, aged 34 and 41 years. The date of onset of disease for the eight patients was between 15-21 June. In three of the patients, infection with E. coli O104:H4 has been confirmed.

The French authorities are investigating this new cluster of STEC. Six of the cases reported having eaten sprouts at the event on 8 June, and leftovers are currently being analysed. These suspected sprouts were locally produced, and were not imported from the farm implicated in the outbreak in Germany.
Thorough investigations are now being carried out to determine the suspected vehicle of infection for the cases reported in the French cluster, and whether there is any link between that cluster and the large outbreak reported from Germany.

In the view of these recent developments, ECDC is preparing an update of its risk assessment. EFSA, the European Food Safety Authority, has set up a task force to coordinate investigations to track down the source of any contaminated sprouted seeds in the European Union. Both European agencies are closely collaborating with the Member States, the European Commission and the World Health Organisation to respond to the STEC outbreak in Germany and the latest cluster reported by France.

Table 1: Number of probable and confirmed HUS cases and non-HUS STEC cases with associated deaths per EU/EEA Member State as of 27 June, 11:00

Member States

Number of HUS cases (death)

Number of non-HUS STEC cases (death)

Countries reporting HUS cases

Austria

1 (0)

4 (0)

Czech Republic

0 (0)

1 (0)

Denmark

9 (0)

14 (0)

France

3 (0) Confirmed cases*
4 (0) Possible cases*

2 (0) Probable and confirmed cases**
3 (0) Suspected cases*

Germany

676 (23) Probable and confirmed
158 (7) Suspected cases

2967 (16)

Greece

0 (0)

1 (0)

Luxembourg

1 (0)

1 (0)

Netherlands

4 (0)

7 (0)

Norway

0 (0)

1 (0)

Poland

2 (0)

1 (0)

Spain

1 (0)

1 (0)

Sweden

18 (1)

33 (0)

The United Kingdom

3 (0)

3 (0)

TOTAL

880 (31)

3 039 (16)

Note: the dates in table 1 represent the date of reporting of cases at the European level (ECDC) and not the date of onset of symptoms for individual cases.
* Cases reported from the new outbreak in Bordeaux
** Cases reported earlier, linked to travel to Germany

Read more:
Escherichia coli (E. coli) health topic site: See list of all epidemiological updates, disease information
ECDC updated its risk assessment on 15 June

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