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Risk assessment on Escherichia coli (STEC) outbreak in Germany

27 May 2011

ECDC has conducted a rapid risk assessment following the unusual increase of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) infections in Germany, with patients presenting with haemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) and bloody diarrhoea.

To date, this STEC outbreak is significant with a very atypical age and sex distribution of the cases and the exposure being limited only to Germany.

Currently there is still no evidence that any potential contaminated food product would have been distributed outside of Germany. Thorough investigations ongoing in the country aim at identifying the source of infection, and are crucial to further determining the scope and magnitude of this risk.

Rapid identification of potential cases linked to this outbreak, within Germany or among persons who have travelled to Germany since mid-April/beginning of May, is essential to prevent the development of severe disease. Secondary clusters of cases from person-to-person exposure may occur and thus personal hygiene messages are important.

ECDC continues to monitor closely this event, in collaboration with the Member States, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), the European Commission and World Health Organization (WHO).

 Read ECDC Rapid Risk Assessment on Escherichia coli (STEC) outbreak in Germany

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