During the handling of the E. coli outbreak in Germany, “[c]oordination of the German public health response seems to have been utterly absent,” a Lancet editorial states, adding, “But one should also ask: where was the European Centres of Disease Prevention and Control? â€¦ From the public’s point of view, no visible collaboration seems to have taken place.”
“After days of confusion, German authorities finally concluded on Friday that an E. coli infection, which has claimed at least 29 lives, unsettled the nation and thrown European agriculture into disarray, had been caused by contaminated bean sprouts and not, as first was feared, by other produce,” the New York Times reports.
In his opening address at the U.N. High Level Meeting on AIDS on Wednesday, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon “told presidents, ministers and diplomats from across the globe that if all partners involved in the fight unite ‘as never before,'” the goal of “zero new infections, zero stigma and zero AIDS-related deaths” can be achieved, the Associated Press/Kansas City Star reports (Lederer, 6/8).
“Germany reported two more deaths and 300 more E. coli cases Wednesday, but its health minister insisted that new infections were dropping, giving some hope that the world’s deadliest E. coli outbreak was abating,” Associated Press reports (Greishaber, 6/8).
Health officials in Germany are continuing to search for the source of an E. coli outbreak after tests on suspected sprouts from a farm in the north of the country came back negative, Deutsche Welle reports.
German officials on Sunday said an E. coli strain that has sickened more than 2,000 people and killed 22 may have originated in a batch of sprouts produced at an organic farm in the north of the country, the New York Times reports.
The food safety office of the WHO on Thursday announced that the bacterium responsible for the E. coli outbreak in Europe is a strain never seen before in humans and could mean “the infection could prove unusually difficult to bring under control,” Nature News reports (Turner, 6/2).
The WHO on Thursday said “that an unusually lethal strain of E. coli, which has infected more than 1,500 people in Germany, mystified public health officials and threatened to touch off panic in Europe, was a previously unknown variant of the bacteria, raising new concerns about the extent and severity of the contagion,” the New York Times reports.
Small increases in temperature and rainfall amount may be able to predict cholera outbreaks in some areas, according to a study published in the June issue of the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, Agence France-Presse reports (5/31).
“Google has launched Dengue Trends, a tool that aims to detect dengue fever outbreaks around the world using the same methodology behind Google Flu Trends,” PC Magazine reports (Yin, 5/31).