WHO: E.coli Bacteria spread from person to person

Geneva .- The World Health Organization (WHO) said the outbreak of E coli bacteria emerged in northern Germany, has caused 18 deaths, 823 thousand people contaminated and spread in 12 countries.


The expert from the Food Safety Department WHO, Andrea Ellis, confirmed that 823 thousand cases, 552 correspond to Hemolytic Urinary Syndrome (HUS), a product of a variant is still unknown and highly toxic to the bacterium Escherichia coli (EHEC) .

Laboratory samples of WHO revealed that there have been 763 thousand cases in Germany, but cases were identified in Austria, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and the United States.

All cases are related to people who made trips to Germany, except for two.

At a press conference, Ellis explained that the EHEC strain is very rare, "has been present in humans, but" was not causing an outbreak "as the present.

So far has not reached the source of the outbreak of EHEC, experts in Germany and other laboratories around the clock looking for the source of the disease, which initially was attributed to the Spanish cucumbers which was discarded, he said.

When questioned about a possible terrorist attack bacteriological, Ellis said that now "there is nothing to suggest it."

The WHO expert recommended avoiding consumption of raw vegetables such as cucumber, lettuce and tomato, especially in Germany and the countries concerned.

Ellis stressed the need to implement extreme measures of hygiene with the vegetables and wash your hands because the disease can spread from human to human by contaminated feces.

The symptoms of the disease caused by EHEC include severe abdominal cramps, diarrhea, bleeding and sometimes vomiting and fever. The incubation period ranges from three to eight days after being exposed to the bacteria.

In some cases, Ellis said, the picture worsens after five to seven days, when the patient developed HUS syndrome.


HUS syndrome can be lethal as it affects the kidneys, causing hemolytic anemia and thrombocytopenia (low platelet count below normal levels) for which there is only supportive treatment, but not a particular medicine to cure him.

WHO's expert ruled out the use of antibiotics and antidiarrheal drugs that could aggravate the evil considerably.

The health agency did not recommend a ban on trade in any food or travel restrictions.