As of today, new numbers in E. coli O104:H4 outbreak – Robert Koch Institute and the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control – E. coli in Germany – 3228 Ill, 781 with HUS and 35 Dead. 102 Ill, 39 HUS in 14 other countries (including U.S.) and 1 death in Sweden.  These numbers have been slowing, but will continue to rise.

Screen shot 2011-06-13 at 6.28.51 AM.pngToday the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) announced that epidemiological evidence from Lower Saxony authorities confirmed the suspicion that sprout seeds (bean?) could have contributed to the contamination.

Lower Saxony reported a recent case in which homegrown sprouts (bean?) were the cause of E. coli O104:H4 disease in a family. However, the pathogen was not yet proven to be in the seeds (I assume that means not cultured from the seeds).

Raw sprouts (bean?) taken from a household in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia were found to be contaminated with the shiga toxin–producing EHEC strain O104:H4, Germany’s Federal Institute for Risk Assessment announced in a statement June 11.

The package, from the same farm in Lower Saxony that investigators suspect is the source of the outbreak, had already been opened when it was tested and members of the household were by then already ill, investigators acknowledged, making the discovery less than a smoking gun. Though there were reports of the strain being identified at the suspect farm itself, these reports had not been confirmed by German health authorities as of June 13.

BfR, therefore recommends to not consume raw sprouts (of any kind?) even if sprouted at home.