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Ecoli 0157 Source still unknown

The Public Health England, European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, Food Standards Agency and European Commission are still trying to identify the source of the outbreak in the UK.

There are now 160 cases. More than 60 cases have received hospital care with 2 deaths. The Ecoli concerned is STEC serogroup 0157 phage type 34 with verocytotoxin 2 gene.

The World Health Organisation is monitoring the situation and there has now been a statement that eating mixed salad leaves including rocket from catering establishments is associated with the infection, although other food sources has still not been ruled out. As with the Ecoli 0104 infection in Europe a few years ago the cases are predominantly females at 75% but has affected ages from 1 to 98.

The suggestion from the strain involved is that it is associated with an imported product, however, no food samples tested to date, to identify the source, have tested positive.

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