Europe is currently experiencing an outbreak of E. coli, and scientists are unsure where the source of the deadly virus originated from. The disease has been found in processed beef, bagged salads, and water. E. coli produces Shiga toxins which are life threatening to a person.
Government and scientists have taken precaution on foods and focused on properly detecting the source of the virus. The problem scientists are faced with is that there is very little known about the strand of viruses.
Generally, the very young, elderly or those with weak immune systems are most likely to be affected by the virus. The strand found in Germany has mainly affected middle aged adults, two-thirds of them being women.
The US Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service is developing tests to detect the strands of E. coli. The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control states that Spanish cucumbers are responsible for the outbreak. Because of this accusation, Spanish farmers are being hit hard. The export of fruit and vegetables has dropped more than 40%, and nearly 70,000 jobs have been jeopardized.
In Germany, 17 people have died and 1,064 have been infected with E. coli. Scientists are furiously working to find out the source of the virus.
Dr. Dilys Morgan of the HPA said: “We are continuing to monitor the situation very carefully and we are working with the authorities in Germany and with our counterparts across Europe as to the cause of the outbreak”.
The virus can trigger bloody diarrhea and organ failure. Anyone who is experiencing any type of illness, especially bloody diarrhea should seek medical attention.