Scientists continue to work to identify the source of the new deadly strain of E. coli bacteria that has infected over 2,200 people in 12 European countries. “This is a unique strain that has never been isolated from patients before,” Hilde Kruse, a food safety expert at WHO, told The Associated Press. The new strain has “various characteristics

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that make it more virulent and toxin-producing” than the many E. coli strains people naturally carry in their intestines. Despite speculation over the weekend that the outbreak could be traced to a German bean sprout farm, the search for the source continues. German authorities on Sunday issued a warning against eating any sprouts and repeated earlier warnings against eating tomatoes, cucumbers and lettuce. The WHO is recommending the usual precautions to avoid illnesses that

are transmitted by raw food — wash hands before eating or cooking and wash and peel all fruits and vegetables, especially if eaten

raw. HTB will continue to monitor what is turning out to be the worst outbreak of E. coli-related illness in eleven years, and already the third-largest involving E. coli in recent world history. Photo by agrilifetoday.

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About The Author

Frank Gillingham, M.D. serves as Chief Medical Director for HTH Worldwide. Frank has led HTH Worldwide's international business development efforts in Europe and Canada and has been a guest speaker at international business conferences and has authored a series of articles on travel medicine, including pieces on travel information available on the Internet and the role of physicians working with travel insurers. Frank is a Board-Certified Internist and Emergency Medicine Specialist. He is also a private emergency physician in Southern California and a former emergency department director and member of the UCLA emergency department staff. Frank completed residency training at Los Angeles County/USC Medical Center, received his M.D. from Albert Einstein College of Medicine and his B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania .

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