Friday, June 3, 2011

Outbreak is new form of E. coli

It can cause the deadly complication - haemolytic-uraemic syndrome (HUS) - affecting the blood and kidneys.
More than 1,500 people have been infected and 18 have died: 17 in Germany and one in Sweden.
Seven people in the UK have the infection, including three British nationals. They are all thought to have contracted it in Germany. The World Health Organization said the variant had "never been seen in an outbreak situation before." Scientists at the Beijing Genomics Institute in China are also reported as saying the new form was "highly infectious and toxic". The Health Protection Agency said it was likely to be a new variant of the rare strain O104 - possibly with a newly acquired ability to infect large numbers of people.