03 Jun '11, 4pm

Deadliest E. coli outbreak ever

The E. coli outbreak in Europe has sickened more than 1800 people, according the World Health Organization. But that's just cases drawn from hospital records. More people could be sick. And 18 have died, making this the deadliest recorded E. coli outbreak. If that's not unnerving enough, only two antibiotics have a real chance at fighting this new strain of the bacteria. The strain is resistant to 14 others. But the two that's it's susceptible to are, basically, the big guns, the drugs of last resort. (Some monster strains of E. coli can defeat those drugs, but there isn't one out there that can defend against everything we've got to throw at it. Yet.) European authorities are warning against eating raw tomatoes, cucumbers, and salads. (From anywhere -- it turns out that those Spanish cucumbers weren't the culprit here, which is unfortunate for the Spanish farmers and harv...

Full article: http://www.grist.org/list/2011-06-03-deadliest-e.-coli-ou...

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