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Showing posts from June, 2011

E. coli outbreak in Europe

A severe outbreak of E. coli, which began in Germany, in May has claimed 19 lives (as of 3rd Jun). Countries around the world have put their doctors & hospitals on alert for the same.
What is E-coli? Escherichia Coli is a bacteria, commonly known as "E. coli".  E. coli usually resides in the intestine, of humans & cattle. Several types (or strains) of E. coli bacteria are known to cause food-poisoning and gastrointestinal infections.
How does E-coli spread? E. coli colonizes in the dairy & beef cattle. It is transmitted through their waste. When water contaminated with such waste is used in farming, the bacteria transmits to vegetables & fruits. Consumption of such infected raw-meat, dairy products, or unwashed fruits/vegetables can result in transmission to humans.
The present outbreak is a result of a hybrid E. coli bacteria, called E. coli O104:H4 strain.  In other words, a toxic strain of E-coli is resulting in severe food-poisoning &  life-threatening gastr…