Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed that the death of an Arizona resident who had traveled to Germany is indeed linked to the European E. coli O104:H4 outbreak caused by a single lot of fenugreek seeds from an Egyptian exporter. The World Health Organization (WHO) had previously counted the Arizona resident as part of the outbreak while CDC officials were investigating the case.
The Arizona case is considered the first fatality in the outbreak outside Europe. He died in mid-June after being hospitalized for the life-threatening complication of E. coli infection, hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). He had traveled to Germany and later developed symptoms when he returned to the U.S.
After a thorough investigation, CDC has now definitively confirmed that the Arizona fatality is linked to the outbreak. In addition, the CDC reports that five other US citizens, four of which also developed HUS, are also confirmed cases in the outbreak.
So far the United States and Canada, which reported one case of illness, are the only countries outside of the European Union reporting outbreak cases. Currently, the European Union has banned imports of Egyptian fenugreek seeds after being linked to the E. coli O104:H4 outbreak that has sickened over 4,200 and killed 50 throughout Europe and the United States.