Cases of E. coli from Europe now in U.S.
June 2nd, 2011
04:02 PM ET

Cases of E. coli from Europe now in U.S.

Three people in the United States likely have been stricken by the same strain of E. coli that’s killed 16 people in Europe, according to an official with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Samples from the patients are on their way to a CDC lab in Atlanta, Georgia, for testing, Dr. Robert Tauxe, deputy director of the CDC’s Division of Foodborne, Bacterial and Mycotic Diseases, told CNN. The patients have traveled recently to Germany, and all three have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a potentially deadly kidney disease and a complication of E. coli infection.

“We consider them to likely be part of the European outbreak,” Tauxe said. “We’re expecting the strains to arrive here any time now.”

He declined to say where the three patients are in the United States but they are hospitalized. Infectious disease experts say there’s no reason for Americans to panic, as the bacteria hasn’t been found in food in the country, and the disease rarely is passed person to person.

There have been 499 cases of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) in the current European outbreak, according to the World Health Organization. That’s more cases of HUS than in any other outbreak ever worldwide, according to an official at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

By comparison, there were 120 cases of HUS in the world’s largest outbreak of E. coli in Japan in 1996, Tauxe said.

It’s not known why there have been so many cases of HUS with the current strain, called O104:H4. Tauxe said it’s possible this strain produces more toxins than other strains.

Doctors in Europe and the United States do not give antibiotics to patients with E. coli infections, since studies have shown it can actually make the disease worse.

“It seems that antibiotics make the bacteria explode, and the toxins inside get spit out and wreak havoc,” said Dr. Buddy Creech, assistant professor of pediatric infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

There’s no other treatment to fight the bacteria.

“All we can do is give patients pain medications or put them on ventilators or dialysis if they need it,” said Dr. Robert Steele, a pediatrician at St. John’s Children’s Hospital in Springfield, Missouri. “We can’t treat the actual problem. We just wait for the body to heal itself.”

“All you can do is monitor patients and hope for the best,” Creech added.

soundoff (75 Responses)
  1. FrauSchmidt

    Now that is scary. No more veggies this month....yeahhh

    June 2, 2011 at 16:51 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jordan

      16 people have died!!!! Who cares about this? 16 people just died because of alcohol, but some random "e-coli" outbreak is really important. Stupid people commenting on articles....

      June 3, 2011 at 00:13 | Report abuse |
  2. worried

    That is a very scary note.The antibiotics will make the bacteria worse.Just have it run its course & hope for the best,not good.People have already died from it.Hope sientist are able to find some sort of treatment.

    June 2, 2011 at 19:42 | Report abuse | Reply
    • David, CA

      Letting E-coli "run its' course" without treatment usually = death. The only way bacteria infections get worse and stronger is when people don't finish their round of treatment. The bacteria then rebounds stronger with an immunity to the treatment.
      Hope for the best? Seriously?

      June 2, 2011 at 20:11 | Report abuse |
    • duh

      Dave from CA clearly doesn't like to read articles before making uninformed comments.

      June 2, 2011 at 20:25 | Report abuse |
    • Endotoxin

      And he hasn't taken basic science and doesn't understand there are different classifications of bacteria and not all follow the "complete the course of antibiotics" rule.
      P.S. David, google Lipid A, mmmmkay?

      June 2, 2011 at 20:51 | Report abuse |
    • Read and comprehend

      @David: There’s no other treatment to fight the bacteria other than antibiotics which make things worse. Did you actually read the article?

      June 2, 2011 at 22:30 | Report abuse |
    • Robert

      Scientists will not find cure when nobody funds that research. The science just do not happens, US government must fund it. Guess where Republicans are going to cut funding? They have already canceled tornado forecasting research earlier this year...
      Call your senator and ask him to support research about this..

      June 2, 2011 at 23:29 | Report abuse |
    • oldboldgold

      The government can't fund research, it is too busy funding megacorporations with our tax dollars. You want research funded? Donate to your favorite university research program.

      June 3, 2011 at 01:00 | Report abuse |
    • DingoBerry

      Just make sure you wash your hands after you poo, cook your food to an internal temp of 165 to kill off any bacteria, and relax. At this rate, worry will kill ya long before any bacteria will.

      June 3, 2011 at 10:32 | Report abuse |
  3. thebossh

    We have all been warned for years on this but Republicans want to cut Govt agencies down to nothing – and Tea Baggers stand by and will watch people die in the street out of blind obedience and their hatred of Dems. Just keep eating your cheese doodles and follow American Idol, vote for Palin, and we, those terrible liberal dems, will have to save you yet again.

    June 2, 2011 at 20:08 | Report abuse | Reply
    • beon

      Wow...I wondered how long it would be before the Republicans were blamed...NOT too long...

      June 2, 2011 at 20:42 | Report abuse |
    • The Straight Skinny

      You couldn't save stamps much less anything else.

      June 2, 2011 at 22:32 | Report abuse |
    • Robert

      You can bet they are being blame for something... They wasted trilions in Iraq for nothing and we can fund basic science to protect us from this stuff.

      June 2, 2011 at 23:31 | Report abuse |
    • chris

      what the H are you talking about? im sorry, but is some type of government program coming to the rescue on this? i dont think so...if anybody solves this, you can bet your a– it'll be a private sector pharma company... not some bloated government beauracracy... im still looking for a time where libs saved anybodys a– without punishing somebody elses a–. Medicaid, Social Security, Medicare are ALL BROKE...INSOLVENT. These GOVERNMENT PROGRAM are LIBERAL Monuments of achievement and at simultaneously objective failures! you guys have have the same mindless banter about Tea baggers and repubs...it be much more insightful to have brought forward an actual idea or fact of some type in your juvenile coffeeshop, from-the-hip post.

      June 2, 2011 at 23:34 | Report abuse |
    • chris

      how many democrats voted to authorize the Iraq war? how many trillions has Obama wasted with Stimulus? How much more will he waste with the new stimulus bill he wants? how many billions is he wasting libya? how many billions did he give to brazil oil industry to fund their research while crippling ours? how many TRILLIONS has he added to our national debt? Dont forget that Dems have been running this country since the final two years of the Bush Presidency. So sadly, the HOPE and CHANGE you were promised hasnt come... because of a completely unprepared president and congress. Stop blaming it on people that havent controlled government in years.

      June 3, 2011 at 00:06 | Report abuse |
    • blameme

      wait wait wait... oh yes them darn Republicans... Obama pork here since you want to drag politics into this... $787 billion economic stimulus.. $71,623 to study what the report calls, "Monkeys Getting High for Science." hmm people make a choice to become cocaine addicts... could of studied e coli instead?? How about the million dollar ant watching down in Southwest Indian Ocean Islands and East Africa.

      Oh and this one... wow that is one gold plated web site. ABC reports this morning that the Maryland firm Smartronix has won what seems like an enormous $18 million contract to re-design the Recovery.gov website. Approximately $9.5 million would be spent by January in order to make “Recovery 2.0″ out of the site that is supposed to track the spending of federal stimulus funds in detail.

      So if the Republicans are taking away the money I must conclude that even though the liberals are forking over the cash it sure in the heck isnt to study e coli you moron.

      June 3, 2011 at 05:13 | Report abuse |
    • DingoBerry

      The republicans deserve the blame. Do your research, and maybe you'll figure it out.

      June 3, 2011 at 10:34 | Report abuse |
  4. Alex

    Maybe terrorists have infiltrated the food chain with this bacteria. Maybe our water supplies are next. But seriously, we already have no money left to take. If our food and water supplies are compromised we are screwed.

    June 2, 2011 at 20:10 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Nancy D'Alessandro

      my first thought.

      June 2, 2011 at 21:19 | Report abuse |
    • We're all gonna die

      The sky is falling said Chicken Little.

      June 2, 2011 at 22:38 | Report abuse |
    • chris

      yes the terrorists poisoned our supply in a way that 600 people out of billions of people would get sick. what did they poison, monkey-nut soup?

      June 2, 2011 at 23:46 | Report abuse |
  5. Nancy

    The bacteria are going to be tested, but they nonetheless can say it is same strain as in Europe. I don't follow. Test first, then pronounce results.

    June 2, 2011 at 20:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Ron Riley

    The fact that antibiotics agravate the problem suggests that other bacteria may compete with the toxigenic E. coli. Consider probiotics (kefir?) as a dietary intervention? Also, the SLT like toxin binds to certain globosides. Has anyone considered using i.v. globosides as a treatment? Is there some way to down regulate the SLT receptors?

    June 2, 2011 at 20:29 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Peter

      If your smart enough, you would tell that to the CDC and not on a CNN news thread.

      Apparently, you arent.

      June 2, 2011 at 21:14 | Report abuse |
    • Ghostbuster

      It's important to extract the ectoplasmic permeable non-resilient layer so that it is possible to then separate the covalent bonding of the nonmatricullable ions which make up the enhanced nueromonic proteins.

      June 2, 2011 at 21:54 | Report abuse |
    • The Scientist

      And don't forget the freebis adjustment to the razzlefratz factor. That is more than critical. Without the adjustment the whippleduron particles appear larger than they actually are.

      June 2, 2011 at 22:34 | Report abuse |
    • chris

      dont forget the fact that coaxial flutter will play a part in your scenario.... unless of course you utilize a dicfer

      June 2, 2011 at 23:47 | Report abuse |
    • conrad

      And if the bacteria accidentally enter the tachyon field go to warp 9 then cloak.

      June 3, 2011 at 09:54 | Report abuse |
    • ser

      and if all else fails hook it up to the flux capacitor....

      June 3, 2011 at 12:35 | Report abuse |
  7. kake79

    I wonder if bacteriophages would be effective or if they'd cause the same release of toxins?

    June 2, 2011 at 20:42 | Report abuse | Reply
    • BSG

      no they wouldn't as they cause bacterial lysis. same dumping of toxins would result. However, I wonder if an infusion of macrophages or an enhanced dialysis/filtration treatment would put the odds of survival in favor of the body by reducing the bacterial load in the blood.

      June 2, 2011 at 21:15 | Report abuse |
    • rick

      Blood transfusions have been known to speed the recovery process.

      June 2, 2011 at 22:34 | Report abuse |
  8. sparky

    I don't know why I get scared, world population is around 7 billion – something is bound to knock the human population back down eventually.

    June 2, 2011 at 20:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Dave

    All the more reason to maintain the healthiest balance of good v. bad bacteria in the gut, where 70-75% of the cells that make up the immune system reside. A good probiotic supplement daily can help. Certainly hope those afflicted get better fast!

    June 2, 2011 at 20:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Nancy D'Alessandro

    I don't understand why the use if IV vitamin C is not used in instances like this. Someone needs to talk to this guy:http://tomlevymd.com/index.html

    June 2, 2011 at 21:18 | Report abuse | Reply

    You zombies better not come near me or my family, or I'LL SKIN YA ALIVE!

    June 2, 2011 at 21:51 | Report abuse | Reply
    • kake79

      Skinning a zombie wouldn't accomplish much past giving you a skinless zombie. Sure, it's lower in cholesterol but I don't think anyone recommends them as part of a healthy diet. You gotta take the head off to put those suckers down.

      June 2, 2011 at 23:07 | Report abuse |
  12. r

    Think about how every day there are people in this country who get food poisoning – and, thankfully, recover – and don't even realize that's why they got sick. I know someone who would get bad stomach problems off and on and the most likely culprit was narrowed – down through a lot of nitty gritty work – bagged lettuces and so she stopped eating any kind of bagged lettuces and has been fine for two years.

    June 2, 2011 at 22:24 | Report abuse | Reply
    • chris

      does she enjoy tossed salad?

      June 2, 2011 at 23:37 | Report abuse |
    • oldboldgold

      I used to get periodic bouts of stomach problems. Then I got laid off and quit eating in restaurants. Voila! Haven't been sick since.

      June 3, 2011 at 01:05 | Report abuse |
    • pat

      This is not just a case of simple food poisoning that people can usually ward off. E.coli is much more serious and if not treated can cause death. But this is also not something we should panic over until they announce that our vegetables carry the strain. Then panic.

      June 3, 2011 at 01:54 | Report abuse |
  13. linda alford

    Ive worked in a big hospital i was a lab tech and one thing i know is that some bacterial infections have to run their course meds wont work if it was viral they would but e coli it wont and you cant catch it from anyone so dont be scared people

    June 2, 2011 at 22:28 | Report abuse | Reply
    • At last

      Barring grammar errors and lack of punctuation, yours is the most sensible post on the page.

      June 2, 2011 at 22:42 | Report abuse |
    • pat

      Nonsense. Antibiotics do not work on viruses.

      June 3, 2011 at 01:56 | Report abuse |
    • Rimming

      You can so catch this from other people! Most of these infected were rimming each other.

      June 3, 2011 at 08:41 | Report abuse |
  14. Jeremy

    This is a very bazaar incident, I wonder if there is a chance it was done on purpose ?

    June 2, 2011 at 22:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. SlowOnTheUptake

    What's all this talk about Eagle Eye?

    June 2, 2011 at 23:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. chris

    if they wanted to poison americans, they could just taint the mcdonalds food supply

    June 2, 2011 at 23:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Jen

    Lets do the math. 300 MILLION people in the US and 16 died. Really. So this is an outbreak? 24 people die a day from smoking cigarettes. Lets put this into perspective.

    June 2, 2011 at 23:43 | Report abuse | Reply
    • pat

      Who died in the US?

      June 3, 2011 at 01:57 | Report abuse |
    • Manuela

      Why the snob on Malay fiction? I find Faisal Tehrani's 1515 iutaminlling, Zaharah Nawawi's short stories to be simply divine and Anwar Ridhwan's Naratif Ogonshoto to be a masterpiece save for the fact that the sentences can be a bit stilted. I took Russian Literature in Translation course last Fall semester and finished Crime and Punishment and Anna Karenina. My Intro. to Black Women Writers class will start next week. I simply cannot wait to read Half of a Yellow Sun (I'm not going to type the author's name! ;P ) and Zadie Smith's White Teeth. I'm usually a sucker for fiction so to be able to currently read The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks seems to be my personal achievement. What I'm trying to say here, Malay fiction is just as good as other literature; you just have to find your cup of tea.

      March 5, 2012 at 23:16 | Report abuse |
  18. Deez nuts on ur chin

    I hope anyone worried about grammar on these posts gets a speeding ticket in the next day or two.

    June 2, 2011 at 23:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. The Cure

    Hey I found a cure! Wait 9 months for the e-coli to disappear just like mad cow, SARS, and The Bird Flu!

    June 3, 2011 at 00:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. TDubby

    Ah man... E. Coli... better raise the price of oil.

    June 3, 2011 at 00:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Leonore H. Dvorkin

    Jen, it's over 12,000 people who die every day in the U.S. from smoking, not 24! Smoking and secondhand smoke kill over 450,000 Americans every year. And to think that all those death are entirely preventable....

    June 3, 2011 at 00:21 | Report abuse | Reply
    • oldboldgold

      And I read that Phillip Morris is pushing cigarettes in Pakistan! Does that mean they are doing their part in the war against terrorism? Really? They ARE the terrorists? Shazaam! Tell the President!

      June 3, 2011 at 01:08 | Report abuse |
  22. Fred S.

    Were many of the cases near Hamburg, Germany? Probably a biological warfare test by CIA to terrify people in Germany into going along with death squad murders in Afganistan. Play on words with "hamburg" – usual tainted food in US.
    Or maybe a retaliation for decision to shut off their nuclear power plants.

    June 3, 2011 at 01:29 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Adi

      You bought a book based on my ievrew? Why, woman, why? Destiny Disrupted is excellent. Something for you to read while fighting those labor pains (you're pregnant again, I see)

      March 5, 2012 at 22:20 | Report abuse |
  23. just me

    Words to describe this comment section pale. None of you cutesy posters are funny. Most of you are flipping idiots. A few posters are actually trying to have an intelligent conversation. And apparently, the rest of you don't have anything better to do.

    Fact: Antibiotics are losing their effectiveness due to overuse and misuse. That's one way to affect the population explosion, but not my favorite. How about some real comments that actually help? Instead of adolescent comments? Thanks in advance.

    June 3, 2011 at 01:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. MsPete

    Mother Nature must really want Humans reduced in numbers: volcanoes, earthquakes, tornadoes, measles, floods, and now E.coli in water.....

    June 3, 2011 at 06:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Rimming

    It's not from eating raw unwashed vegetables. It's from all these people rimming. Or from eating vegetables that were used for insertion.

    June 3, 2011 at 08:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Sabrina Curtis

    I was diagnosed in 1969 at the age of 2 1/2 with Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome(HUS)., due to e-coli(E-O157). At the time the doctors did not know what the cause of HUS was. When I became very ill, I was rushed to The Cleveland Clinic. I was very lucky to be in the right place at the right time. In 1969 the only place in the world that had the Kidney Machine, was The Cleveland Clinic. I was one of the very first patients on the kidney machine. My kidneys had shut down and I was in the hospital on dialysis for over one month.

    About 12 years ago when the news of e-coli had come out and my illness was in the news, it was not until then that I or family members knew what the cause of my illness(HUS) was. Due to my getting E-coli O157 food poisoning at 2 1/2, I started having seizures when I was 6 years old, and have had to be on seizure medication since. I was given last rights at the time.

    I have written(when my cat died from Menu Foods) Senator Jim Webb(VA) as well as Lindsey Graham and Richard Durbin(Who is the Ranking Member on The Agricultural Committee) , when the Menu Foods incident happened. I mentioned that my letter not only pertained to pet foods, but to the entire FDA and Agricultural system. I asked them if they would pass a law or(laws) to ensure that this never happen again. Well it has! Our food system is not perfect, and we need to just make it better. It never will be 100% perfect, nothing never is, but we can at least make it better. In my letter to Senator Webb that I carbon copied(and added personal letters to Senator Graham and Durbin) I enclosed a list of questions as well of how we could make our Food Inspection System better. The letter was written in 2007, and it described how when I was ill and then seeing my cat die from food poisoning was personal. Well, now it has become personal again, now I am hearing people die again from E-Coli O157. Our FDA and food inspection system just needs better inspectors, and that was one of the points in my letter to Senator Webb.

    June 3, 2011 at 08:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. DingoBerry

    The human population needs to be thinned out, the bacteria are only doing what they do best. Everybody should thank Science for the wonders of the Earth's ecosystem.

    June 3, 2011 at 10:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. C Murdock

    "Cases of E. coli from Europe now in U.S."

    Yep, those damn Europeans are sending us E. coli by the case!

    June 3, 2011 at 15:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Countryboy

    So many diseases what can we do? http://WWW.CDBABY.COM/ALL/NUNONE bye now!

    June 4, 2011 at 11:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. FatherTyme

    It's not "mother nature" you tree hugging twit. All of these desaters are acts of GOD.

    June 5, 2011 at 10:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Verna

    Everyone loves what you guys tend to be up too. This type of clever work and exposure! Keep up the great works guys I've included you guys to my blogroll.

    March 17, 2014 at 15:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Lida Relford

    Brianna Bromfield


    October 4, 2016 at 10:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Toshiko Martini

    When I initially commented I clicked the "Notify me when new comments are added" checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get several emails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove people from that service? Appreciate it!


    March 3, 2021 at 04:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Best Proxies

    I believe that avoiding highly processed foods is the first step to help lose weight. They will taste great, but packaged foods currently have very little nutritional value, making you try to eat more just to have enough strength to get throughout the day. For anyone who is constantly feeding on these foods, converting to whole grain products and other complex carbohydrates will assist you to have more energy while feeding on less. Good blog post.


    April 7, 2021 at 22:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Ray Kumar

    Heya! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any problems with hackers? My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up losing a few months of hard work due to no data backup. Do you have any solutions to prevent hackers?


    April 13, 2021 at 01:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. https://www.shinsen-mart.com

    Best view i have ever seen !


    April 22, 2021 at 03:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. https://thuocladientu123.com

    Best view i have ever seen !


    May 6, 2021 at 16:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. https://shiatsu-web.com

    Best view i have ever seen !


    May 15, 2021 at 20:10 | Report abuse | Reply

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.