In Germany, the current outbreak of E.coli found in cucumbers have claimed two more lives, totaling 10 deaths and over 300 infected. Concerns have been raised as other countries with cucumber shipments may also be at risk. The outbreak started with the shipment of Spanish cucumbers from farms in Malaga and Almeria, which may have been the main cause according to German health chiefs. No official evidence has linked Spain to the outbreak.
The deaths resulted from one of the most severe E.coli outbreak in Germany. The rare strain of E.coli causes haemolytic-uremic syndrome, HUS, that shuts down the kidney. The use of antibiotics cannot treat or help the kidney in this case.
Rosa Aguilar, the Spanish agriculture minister, has been in contact with German officials to start investigations on whether the E.coli originated in Spain or became contaminated while in Germany. She claims that a rare E.coli strain most likely did not originate from Spain and that no evidence is linked to the contamination in her country.
We can only speculate at this point about the cause and place of the contamination...According to experts, it is still completely unclear in what place and in what way the pathogens got onto the produce - be it in Spain, in transport, or in Germany, said Holger Eichele, Germany's ministry spokesman.
The country has advised against eating raw vegetables while soil laboratory tests are being performed to officially determine the bacteria's original location. The cucumbers may also been shipped to Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary, and Luxembourg.