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E.coli warning for travellers to Germany
[Posted: Fri 27/05/2011 by Deborah Condon www.irishhealth.com]
Irish people intending to travel to Germany are being urged to avoid consuming salad vegetables there, due to a major outbreak of E.coli.
According to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC), German authorities are dealing with an extensive outbreak of Verocytotoxigenic E.coli (VTEC). The VTEC strain responsible for this outbreak is known as 0104.
VTEC is a serious illness which is transmitted by contaminated food or water or close contact with a person suffering from the illness. Its main symptoms are diarrhoea, which is often bloody, and abdominal pain.
So far in Germany, at least four people have died, while a further 200 have been affected. The outbreak has been traced back to cucumbers that originated in Spain and people are now being asked to avoid these, as well as other salad vegetables, such as raw tomatoes and lettuce.
"Anyone travelling to Germany should follow the advice regarding this outbreak from the German authorities. In addition, returning travellers with illness, including bloody diarrhoea, should seek urgent medical attention and make sure they mention any recent travel history," said Dr Paul McKeown of the HPSC.
He added that the HPSC and the Food Safety Authority of Ireland are monitoring this situation closely.
"We are alerting health professionals to the situation and advising them to urgently investigate potential VTEC cases with a travel history to Germany."
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