E. Coli outbreak spreads to America

SPAIN, Algarrobo : A farmer harvests cucumbers at a greenhouse on June 1, 2011 in Algarrobo, near Malaga, as Madrid threatened to sue German officials who initially warned that the virulent bacteria, which has already killed 15 in Germany and one in Sweden, was borne by cucumbers imported from Spain before correcting their findings. (Document referencePar6307338Object nameSPAIN - GERMANY - FOOD - DISEASE - HEALTHCreation date2011-06-01CreditAFPSourceAFPBylineJorge GuerreroFile size / Pixels / dpi24.67 Mb / 3600 x 2395 / 300 dpiSPAIN, Algarrobo : A farmer harvests cu
Three Americans who recently returned from a trip to Germany have been infected by the same E. Coli strand that has spread through the EU and already killed 18 people and left over 1,800 ill.

It is considered to be the deadliest E. Coli outbreak on record. The outbreak originated in Germany and is known to cause severe kidney damage.

The three US victims are expected to survive, but the bacteria may now more easily spread across the United States and greater American continents. Scientists are struggling to find the source of this strand of E. Coli, which appears to pass easily and quickly from person to person.

America’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has notified all US state health departments to be aware of the possible spread of the bacteria and keep a look out for infections. The US military is also keeping a close eye on the outbreak due to the large number of US personnel stations in Germany and other areas of the EU.

According to scientists the strain is entirely new and is considered to be a “super-toxic” strain of E. Coli. It is both very contagious and highly resistant to antibiotics.

The “unique strain had characteristics that make it more virulent and toxin-producing,” indicated a recent report by scientists.

Thus far infection has proven to be more common among young women and has spread from Germany throughout the European continent and now to the Americas.

The source of the outbreak remains unknown. Initial rumors that it originated on cucumbers exported from Spain proved to be false.