kk.jpgAccording to Reuters and German News (in English), cucumbers from Spain have been identified as a source of the deadly E. coli outbreak gripping Germany, health officials announced an hour ago. Three of four contaminated cucumbers analyzed by the Hamburg Institute for Hygiene and the Environment came from Spain, said the state health minister for Hamburg, Cornelia Pruefer-Storcks. Of four cucumbers found to be carrying the bacteria, three came from two separate Spanish suppliers and the fourth was listed as an organic project whose place of origin was unknown.

So far four people have died (and there may be a fifth) from infections with E. coli O104. 140 people have developed acute kidney failure, or Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS). Most of the 600 cases reported so far have been centered in northern Germany, particularly in the Hamburg area.

The public health authority, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), encouraged people to avoid eating raw tomatoes, cucumbers and lettuce for the time being.