Tuesday, May 24, 2011

First death in Germany by the outbreak of an intestinal bacteria out of control

A woman of 83 years is the first of the three victims of an epidemic outbreak of intestinal bacteria Escherichia coli and strain "O157: H7, which stretches from north to south Germany and has made ordering the alert health. The images straight out of a science fiction movie, but belong to the German television news and correspond to the situation last night ordered a health alert due to a disease outbreak caused by the bacterium Escherichia coli ', with more than 300 people affected across the country.

As recognized early in the Ministry of Health, 40 cases diagnosed as hemolytic-uremic syndrome are in serious condition. Normally, this bacterium lives in the intestines of humans and is part of their intestinal flora, contributing to the absorption of nutrients, although some strains can produce toxins that can cause intestinal discomfort, especially in children.

In the German outbreak, the bacteria is causing serious intestinal infections whose effect in turn diarrhea, kidney failure, vascular damage and anemia. Two of the sickest patients and require assisted ventilation. Intestinal bleeding are the symptoms of the latest and most dangerous stage of infection.

Most people infected so far are women and it is believed that the first case was one registered on 10 May. "The spread of so many cases in such a short time is very worrying, the situation is now out of control," acknowledged the chief of epidemiology at the Hospital of Hesse on German radio.

Health authorities in Germany explained that each year between 800 and 1,200 cases of poisoning by the bacterium Escherichia coli ', mainly in children, but in this case, as reported by the Robert Koch Institute, is an unusual outbreak, because it produces more intense symptoms and particularly targeted at adults.

The bacteria is transmitted through consumption of contaminated meat, raw milk, vegetables or fruits that were in contact with feces of infected animals. The main suspect in this case are the raw vegetables and the first results of health research suggests that is sweeping the country at high speed north-south.

In Frankfurt canteens have been closed two companies while two patients remained in a coma, but the northern states are the most affected. In Schleswig Holstein and 91 cases recorded, 13 in the city of Hamburg, another 67 in Lower Saxony and more than 50 in Bremen. "The number of patients is already high enough so that we have to reckon with the possibility that some deaths occur.

Statistically, 5% of cases of infection do not survive," says Dr. Jan Kielstein, which deals Hannover 10 patients. The source of infection could be in the fertilizers used for growing organic vegetables, of which would become part contaminated animal feces. Greenpeace warns that the bacteria can also spread with the wind, from the feces to fruits and vegetables.

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