E-Coli Infection: A Threat To US Too?
Can the E-Coli infection that swept across Germany in the last 15 days find a home in US too? Quite likely believes Edward Dudley, assistant professor for food science at the Pennsylvania University. However, the present threat is unlikely to cross the Atlantic right away, especially since the US imports a miniscule 2% of its food products from Europe. The ban on certain vegetables is also in place, which might make things just a tad too difficult for the ‘superbug’ to penetrate into the United States at this moment.
Dudley, himself abhors the term superbug as he finds it to be sensationalist. However, do we really understand all about this particularly virulent strain of E-Coli? Or how it is infecting individuals all over Germany and isolated parts of Europe including Sweden and Poland? The pathogen has already infected close to 3,300 people with more than 35 left dead from consuming contaminated food.
Facts about E-Coli Pathogen
It is a new bug revealing two distinct traits which is why it had been so difficult to track down initially.
- The enteroaggregative E. coli commonly known as EAEC has the capability of adhering to the intestinal lining which results in diarrhea.
- The STEC or Shiga toxin in the E. coli, on the other hand, affects the kidney function resulting in severe bloody diarrhea followed by hemolytic uremic syndrome.
- The new E-Coli strain that hit Germany, surprisingly displays the properties of both the strains making it a lethal bacterium indeed.
Why is US Worried?
Dudley laid emphasis on isolating the source of the infection as quickly as possible in order to avoid such tragic outbreaks in the near future.
This particular E-Coli strain can exist absolutely anywhere in the world and the scientific community is now intent on discovering whether the German outbreak was a random, isolated case or will there be more such instances.
With huge quantities of food supply that travels from the agricultural farms to the fork of the consumer, the US can be devastated by food contaminations of such magnanimity.
America has borrowed a lot from Germany before, in the form of the delicious sauerkrauts and bratwursts. And of course, none of us can really think of cheering our favorite team without the quintessential lager beer in hand. But do we really need the E-coli infection to knock on our doors too? Definitely not, we say as we wait for the very latest on the German E-Coli outbreak every day.
Image Credit- myfoodpoisoninglawyer.com