The deadly E. coli outbreak that has left fatalities in its wake in Europe has made its way to the US, according to US health officials. Four people in the US have fallen ill, apparently from food poisoning. The four were traveling in Germany and returned home to the US at the end of May.
Health officials in the US believe that the four were infected with the E coli strain while in Germany. Three of the Americans are in the hospital with kidney failure, which is due from this strain of E coli poisoning. According to Fox News this morning, kidney failure has become a hallmark of this sickness caused by the E coli strain from Europe.
While the American victims did not stay in the same hotels, or eat at the same places when in Germany, officials still believe they were infected by the European E coli strain. Officials are still investigating the US cases of the E coli illness. Details of the cases in the US have not been made available due to the strict confidentiality policies.
US health officials have sent an advisory out to all hospitals to be alert for new admissions of the E coli illness. The US Food and Drug Administration said on Friday that it believes that US foods remain unaffected by the deadly E coli outbreak and that the US receives very little fresh produce from the European Union.
As a safety precaution, the FDA has increased the surveillance of fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce and raw salads from the affected areas. There is no reason for Americans to alter where they shop, what they buy or eat, according to the FDA.
The E coli outbreak in Europe has killed 19 people so far, with the newest fatality reported from Germany Friday evening. At last report on Friday, close to 2,000 fell ill to this new E coli strain. Medical authorities in Germany, which has been the worst area hit by the outbreak, are still conducting an investigation to find the source of the epidemic.
It was first believed that the E coli outbreak started with vegetables imported from Spain, but medical authorities have found that this might not be the case, but they have still stopped the import of vegetables from that country until they can be sure. Russia has banned vegetables from any EU farms.
The outbreak started in Germany than spread to 12 countries. The symptoms of this E coli food poisoning strain are stomach cramps, diarrhea, fever and vomiting.
Reference: Fox News