E. coli outbreak: Germany appeals for blood donors

first_img Sharing is caring! Tweet 27 Views   no discussions Share German clinics are appealing for blood donations as the number of people infected with a deadly strain of E. coli has risen above 1,730.So far 17 people have died from the bug in Germany, and it is suspected in another death. One also died in Sweden.German scientists say they have decoded the new E. coli strain’s genes, with help from a Chinese lab. It is a new hybrid form toxic to humans.Germans are still being advised not to eat raw vegetables.Nearly 500 infected people in Germany have got haemolytic-uraemic syndrome (HUS), which harms the kidneys and nervous system and can be fatal.Europe-wide problem Most cases are in northern Germany, including Hamburg. In severe cases doctors have to perform blood transfusions.Lutz Schmidt, medical chief of the Hamburg blood donation service, said: “We need blood, plasma too. The stocks need to be replenished.”He told the newspaper Die Welt that in Hamburg many donors had responded to the Eppendorf University Clinic’s appeal for blood.E. coli usually inhabits the guts of cattle and sheep.The new strain is believed to have spread via contaminated raw cucumbers or tomatoes.The bacteria stick to the intestine walls, pumping out toxins.European health authorities are urgently trying to pinpoint the source of this epidemic.Cases of HUS have also been reported in Denmark, the Netherlands and Spain. Seven people in the UK have the infection, though all are thought to have contracted it in Germany.Two people in the US, who have travelled recently to Germany, are being tested for the strain, said the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).Anger in Spain Spain says it will seek damages from Germany over initial claims that its produce was the source of the outbreak.Spanish PM Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said he would demand reparations for the economic losses suffered. Germany had blamed Spanish cucumbers but has since accepted it was not the case.Spanish fruit and vegetable exporters estimate they are losing 200m euros ($290m; £177m) a week in sales.“We acted as we had to, and we are going to get reparations and the return of Spanish products to their rightful place,” said Spain’s Prime Minister Zapatero.“I believe that any other interpretation or any effort to politicise the huge mistake made by the German authorities is totally unfair.”Sales of Spanish produce to supermarkets across Europe – not just of cucumbers, but of everything – have ground to a halt, says the BBC’s Sarah Rainsford in Almeria, Spain’s “fruitbasket”.Tens of thousands of kilos of fresh fruit and vegetables grown in Spain are being destroyed, she adds.The European Union has urged Russia – its largest export market for vegetables – to drop its ban on the import of fresh vegetables, describing the move as totally disproportionate.BBC Newscenter_img Share Share HealthLifestyle E. coli outbreak: Germany appeals for blood donors by: – June 3, 2011last_img read more

State Health Department reports cases of Heartland and West Nile viruses

first_imgDES MOINES — The Iowa Department of Public Health Wednesday  reported the first-ever case of Heartland virus.Heartland virus is thought to be transmitted by the Lone Star tick and was first discovered in 2009 in Missouri. Since then, cases have expanded across the Midwestern and southern United States.The first Iowa case is in an older adult age 61 to 80 in Appanoose County. Symptoms include fever, fatigue, anorexia, nausea, and diarrhea.IDPH also reported the first case of West Nile Virus in an adult between 18 and 40 years old from Polk County. The disease is spread by mosquitoes, and while most people do not have symptoms, it can be fatal.last_img read more