Possible U.S. Fatality in German E. Coli Outbreak

An Arizona man who recently visited Germany has died of kidney failure resulting from a deadly e. coli bacteria and officials fear that it may be from the same strain that caused widespread illness and over a dozen deaths in Europe.

Health officials said the man was over 65 and lived in northern Arizona, but released few other details. His recent trip to Germany — coupled with the kidney complication — sparked suspicion the case was linked to the European illnesses, said Catherine Foley, an epidemiologist with the Arizona Department of Health Services.

So far, there have been five confirmed cases in the United States— two in Michigan and one in Massachusetts, Wisconsin and North Carolina. All but one had recently been to Germany. One Michigan case apparently caught the illness from the other, a relative.

Arizona officials are not aware of anyone being infected from close contact with the deceased man, Foley said. [Source]

Officials have determined the cause of the outbreak to be raw vegetable sprouts from a German farmer. The outbreak has caused 31 deaths so far and thousands of people have fallen ill.

You can read updated information on the Word Health Organization website.

Image via Creative Commons.