First child death from E. coli reported in Germany

13:44, June 15, 2011      

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A two-year-old boy became the first child to be killed by the deadly E. coli in Germany on Tuesday, officials said.

To date, the terrifying EHEC infection has claimed 36 lives in Germany and one in Sweden.

The child, from the northern town of Celle, died in hospital in Hanover of kidney failure and abnormal breakdown of red blood cells, two extreme symptoms of the infection with enterohaemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC), authorities in the state of Lower Saxony said.

The boy became the youngest known fatal victim since the outbreak of E. coli in May. His father and 10-year-old brother were also infected with the deadly bacteria, but are recovering, doctors told a local newspaper.

The Robert Koch Institute, Germany's national disease prevention and control agency, said on Tuesday that a total of 3, 235 cases had been reported in the country. Among them, 782 people are suffering from haemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS), a life- threatening illness arising from E. coli, which would destroy human kidney and nervous system.

The institute added that the number of new infections is declining sharply in recent days, with only seven reported on Tuesday.

German authorities announced on Friday that bean sprouts from a farm in northern Germany were one source of the outbreak, and dropped the previous warning against eating raw cucumbers, tomatoes and lettuce. However, the food panic has caused losses worth hundreds of millions of dollars for European farmers.

Source: Xinhua
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