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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

E. coli O104:H4 – 38 Dead, 824 with HUS, 3351 Ill – Massachusetts, Michigan, and Wisconsin with 5

According to the European Food Safety authority, 821 HUS cases, including 24 deaths, and 2,530 non-HUS cases, including 13 deaths, have been reported. Germany reports two new HUS cases and 17 new non-HUS STEC cases. Germany also reports a new HUS death. In Luxembourg, one STEC case developed HUS. However, according to press reports, a total of 38 people have died, including a 90-year-old reported dead Wednesday by Hamburg authorities.

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According to the CDC, four confirmed cases and one suspect case of STEC O104:H4 infections have been identified. Of these five cases, four recently traveled to Hamburg, Germany, where they were likely exposed. The bacterial isolates from the three HUS cases reported in Massachusetts, Michigan, and Wisconsin and one case with Shiga toxin-positive diarrheal illness in Michigan have been confirmed as matching the outbreak strain. The Michigan case with Shiga toxin-positive diarrheal illness did not travel to Germany, but is a close contact of the Michigan case with HUS. Their diarrheal illness developed later and was likely acquired through contact with the HUS case.

The outbreak has been traced to an organic sprouter local to Hamburg.  The sprouts were sold directly and to restaurants and hotels in the Hamburg area.