According to the European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, as of today, the cumulative number of probable and confirmed STEC cases in the EU/EEA is 3,867 (not including six in the United States, including one death). This includes 762 HUS STEC cases and 3,105 non-HUS STEC cases. In total, 44 infected persons have died, of which 28 were HUS STEC cases and 16 were non-HUS STEC cases.

In Germany, since the last update, one HUS STEC case has been excluded, and 20 non-HUS STEC cases have been reported. Within the last 10 days (4 July – 13 July), one HUS STEC case and eight non-HUS STEC cases fell ill. The last known date of illness onset in a patient with confirmed STEC O104 was 7 July 2011. This was also the last reported date of illness onset among all cases.

Note: Suspected cases (Germany: 146 HUS STEC (7 deaths), France: 5 non-HUS STEC) are not included.

Below is a very interesting presentation on the actual investigation of the outbreak that I received this morning.  A couple of things of note: 1) How long it took from the first illness (first week of May) until the investigation got fully underway, and 2) The fact that no food item was never positively identified via test results (either because food already consumed or destroyed, or tests for E. coli O104:H4 on food are not yet advanced enough for detection). 

Like all outbreak investigations, this is a good read and a cautionary tale for Untied States public health officials and policy makers.

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Download – Chronology of the E. coli O104:H4 Outbreak Investigation – The German EHEC Task Force Final Results – (Thanks Albert)

Breaking News – AP reports that German authorities say the farm involved in a deadly E. coli outbreak is being cleared to reopen following thorough testing and the removal of all fenugreek seeds – considered the likely source.  The outbreak was traced in early June to the vegetable sprout farm at Bienenbuettel, south of Hamburg. European authorities later said one batch of fenugreek seeds from Egypt was probably the source of the bacterial outbreak that killed 53 people – 51 in Germany, and one each in Sweden and the U.S.