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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

E. coli “Superbug” kills hundreds in England Each Year

The BBC reported yesterday that a “Superbug,” which kills hundreds of patients a year has been found on 32 farms in England. The discovery raises fears that the infection is spreading to the human population through meat and milk. The bug – ESBL E. coli [Extended-Spectrum Beta-Lactamases Escherichia coli] is estimated to cause 30,000 cases of blood poisoning and urinary tract infection each year. According to the report, it is known to have killed hundreds of people over the past 5 years, although some experts put the annual death toll as high as 4,000. This "Super E. coli" is thought to have developed a high degree of resistance to antibiotics through their use in intensive livestock operations. Its spread from farm to farm has mirrored the rise in the number of infections and deaths in the human population.

This is one of those news reports that makes you want to go back to bed and pull the covers over your head.  I have not seen any data to link the same bug to illnesses or death in the United States – yet.