WASHINGTON (AFP) – The United States on Tuesday confirmed one of four suspected cases of E. coli illness in Americans who recently traveled to Germany, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.
“In the United States, one confirmed and three suspected cases of STEC O104:H4 infections have been identified in persons who recently traveled to Hamburg, Germany, where they were likely exposed,” the CDC said.
The confirmed patient was hospitalized in Massachusetts after developing a type of kidney failure, hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which is associated with the bacteria.
“One case of HUS in Massachusetts has been confirmed as matching the German outbreak strain,” the CDC said.
“Among the three suspected cases, two are cases of HUS, one case each in Michigan and Wisconsin. The third suspected case, a person with Shiga toxin-positive diarrheal illness, is still under investigation.”
Two US military members stationed in Germany were also mentioned as suspected cases of infection last week.
The CDC said Tuesday “there are no known confirmed cases among US military personnel or their dependents at this time,” though investigations were continuing.
Authorities have yet to identify the source of the outbreak, which has killed 24 people — 23 of them in Germany — and left more than 2,300 people ill at least 14 countries.
German consumers are being advised to avoid raw sprouts, cucumbers, tomatoes and lettuce.
“United States public health and regulatory authorities currently have no indication that any of these foods have been shipped from Europe to the United States,” the CDC added.