E-Coli Infection: A Threat To US Too?

14-Jun-2011 by

E-Coli Threat


Can the E-Coli infection that swept across Germany in the last 15 days find a home in US too? Quite likely believes Edward Dudley, assistant professor for food science at the Pennsylvania University. However, the present threat is unlikely to cross the Atlantic right away, especially since the US imports a miniscule 2% of its food products from Europe. The ban on certain vegetables is also in place, which might make things just a tad too difficult for the ‘superbug’ to penetrate into the United States at this moment.


Dudley, himself abhors the term superbug as he finds it to be sensationalist. However, do we really understand all about this particularly virulent strain of E-Coli? Or how it is infecting individuals all over Germany and isolated parts of Europe including Sweden and Poland? The pathogen has already infected close to 3,300 people with more than 35 left dead from consuming contaminated food.    


Facts about E-Coli Pathogen

It is a new bug revealing two distinct traits which is why it had been so difficult to track down initially.

  • The enteroaggregative E. coli commonly known as EAEC has the capability of adhering to the intestinal lining which results in diarrhea.
  • The STEC or Shiga toxin in the E. coli, on the other hand, affects the kidney function resulting in severe bloody diarrhea followed by hemolytic uremic syndrome.
  • The new E-Coli strain that hit Germany, surprisingly displays the properties of both the strains making it a lethal bacterium indeed.


Why is US Worried?

Dudley laid emphasis on isolating the source of the infection as quickly as possible in order to avoid such tragic outbreaks in the near future.


This particular E-Coli strain can exist absolutely anywhere in the world and the scientific community is now intent on discovering whether the German outbreak was a random, isolated case or will there be more such instances.


With huge quantities of food supply that travels from the agricultural farms to the fork of the consumer, the US can be devastated by food contaminations of such magnanimity.


America has borrowed a lot from Germany before, in the form of the delicious sauerkrauts and bratwursts. And of course, none of us can really think of cheering our favorite team without the quintessential lager beer in hand. But do we really need the E-coli infection to knock on our doors too? Definitely not, we say as we wait for the very latest on the German E-Coli outbreak every day.


Image Credit- myfoodpoisoninglawyer.com 


bronzegoddess_bright profile page

bronzegoddess_bright says :

E.Coli - Eeeks Coli! lol
Posted on: 17 August 2011 - 1:38pm

Ringa says :

Good One!! :D
Posted on: 18 August 2011 - 1:33am

Anonymous says :

I had heard about this pathogen before, but is it that dangerous?
Posted on: 18 August 2011 - 1:43am
thot4food profile page

thot4food says :

E-Coli contamination is not unheard of commonly. But the new strain proved to be particularly virulent creating a furor all across the world.
Posted on: 18 August 2011 - 8:55am

Anonymous says :

Hi, Thanks for informing. Could you please let me know if the bacteria is passed via vegetables only or any other food substances also. If you could provide a link with the details of symptoms,the suggested remedial measures and contact information of people to contact in case of any such infection; it would of great help.Also we should at the moment think of helping the diseased Germans in whatever way we can, rather than think og isolating ourselves.
Posted on: 18 August 2011 - 1:47am
thot4food profile page

thot4food says :

The infection has subsided for now. Thank God! And we do need to protect ourselves against possible outbreaks in future too.
Posted on: 18 August 2011 - 8:56am
FitGal profile page

FitGal says :

It is a very unfortunate development. We must be cautious for ourselves as well as those around us so that this disease does not spread further.
Posted on: 18 August 2011 - 2:09am
yummytummy profile page

yummytummy says :

Thanks for this information. Can you please suggest some tips, to avoid this infection? This is really dangerous, particularly for the kids.
Posted on: 18 August 2011 - 2:19am
thot4food profile page

thot4food says :

The best course would be to avoid raw food especially when eating out. Make your kids wash their hands properly and try to cook all kinds of sprouts for the time being.
Posted on: 18 August 2011 - 8:58am
foodietweetie profile page

foodietweetie says :

If US can have a threat from it then others may also get this deadly infection. There should be some safety measures to tackle this prob. can you please provide some info on those measures, if any??
Posted on: 18 August 2011 - 3:20am
barbecue profile page

barbecue says :

though the info is worthy, but i wish to know about the way of contamination..also what are the major routes through which this e.coli bacteria can enter?
Posted on: 18 August 2011 - 3:23am
thot4food profile page

thot4food says :

Raw or undercooked food is the biggest source of E-Coli contamination
Posted on: 18 August 2011 - 8:58am

Rashmi Ambadkar says :

E-Coli infection that swept across Germany - sounds almost like an epidemic. This bacteria has caused so much concern, need to be more precautious with this E-coli infection..
Posted on: 18 August 2011 - 3:34am

Nithya Shri says :

Is this really a cause of worry?
Posted on: 18 August 2011 - 5:38am
delicious bites profile page

delicious bites says :

E-Coli...Dare u come to us...
Posted on: 18 August 2011 - 7:07am

Ravi says :

New infections sprouting across the world almost everyday...what's the cure or recommended medicine for this?
Posted on: 18 August 2011 - 9:30am
Samina Tapia profile page

Samina Tapia says :

E-coli is carried by meats and many raw food products isn't it? Which other countries have been affected by this infection?
Posted on: 18 August 2011 - 12:06pm
smruti profile page

smruti says :

the only answer according to me is to get organic and stop over fertilizing land and over processing the foods... that way everything will have its own balance
Posted on: 18 August 2011 - 3:38pm
Shakun profile page

Shakun says :

I agree with Smruti here. My aunty suffered from a recurring E-coli infection for about a year. As soon as she sifted to an all-organic and all-vegetarian diet, she started recovering. Even the strongest antibiotics couldn't eradicate the infection completely; dietary changes did.
Posted on: 18 August 2011 - 6:35pm