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Food Poison Journal Food Poisoning Outbreaks and Litigation: Surveillance and Analysis

Nine Dead, 300 with HUS and 1,000 Sick Due to E. coli O104:H4-tainted Cucumbers

micro.pngNews reports on the number of sickened and dead, in what is quickly becoming one of the largest E. coli outbreaks that I have seen in nearly two decades of litigating E. coli outbreaks, have varied. As of this morning, the press is reporting that the latest victim was an 84-year-old woman, who died on Saturday in the northern state of Schleswig-Holstein. This follows the death of an 87-year-old woman in the early hours of Saturday morning in Hamburg. On Thursday night a 38-year-old woman died from Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS). As many as six other women (a total of nine) have died in the last week.

Other reports have nearly 300 suffering from HUS. In addition, as many as 1,000 have been hospitalized with E. coli according to other press reports. Cases have also been reported in Britain, Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden and Denmark.

German officials have said they found 3 cucumbers from Spain with the bacterium, and they are currently probing whether the cucumbers were contaminated with E. coli when they were shipped from southern Spain, or whether they went bad during shipment or while being handled in Germany.