At least 38 dead from killer bacteria outbreak: Germany

June 15, 2011

An elderly man has become the latest fatality from an outbreak of a killer strain of E. coli bacteria in Germany, bringing the death toll to at least 38, authorities said Wednesday.

Health officials in the northern city of Hamburg, which has been hit hard by the contamination blamed on infected vegetable sprouts, said the man born in 1920 had died after becoming infected with enterohaemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC).

This brought the total number of dead from the outbreak to at least 38, all in Germany except for one woman who died in Sweden after visiting Germany.

German authorities on Friday identified vegetable sprouts as the source of the outbreak and lifted a warning against eating raw tomatoes, cucumbers and lettuce.

The national health centre, the Robert Koch Institute, said Wednesday that the number of new cases of EHEC had dropped significantly in the last week, although the death toll continues to climb.

The has reported more than 3,300 cases of infection with EHEC in 16 countries.

On Tuesday, a two-year-old boy in Germany became the first child to die in the outbreak.

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