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Old Jun 2, 11, 8:14 am   #1
 
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E coli outbreak - travel?

I have a holiday booked in North Germany (Mainz, Cologne, Duesseldorf, Hamburg, Heiligendamm, Reuegen, Berlin) in 2 weeks. I'm worried about the E coli outbreak and wondering if anyone has any info on what it's like over there. As far as I know from the UK press, they don't know what has caused it but speculate that it's raw salad. However, it could be anything.

Any advice on whether I rebook elsewhere; go and ignore my worries, or go and worry about everything we eat? Also, if anyone knows which antibiotics this EHEC is susceptible to that would be useful.

Thanks
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Old Jun 2, 11, 11:18 am   #2
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Well, thereŽs not much one can do about the current situation. Nobody really knows how the desease is transmitted except that people have likely become ill from eating salad, tomatoes, cucumber etc.

IŽd still do the trip and be a little cautious about what IŽd eat (i.e. avoid any uncooked vegetables).
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Old Jun 2, 11, 3:01 pm   #3
 
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I'm in Schleswig-Holstein at the moment (staying with relatives, so not just looking in as an outsider). Everybody is, of course, talking about the outbreak... but apart from that life is very much continuing as normal. At the moment we are talking about some 2,000 people taken ill, which is a very small percentage of the population.

If I was the OP I would monitor the situation... but wouldn't change travel plans unless things get much worse.
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Old Jun 2, 11, 3:42 pm   #4
 
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The World Health organization announced yesterday that this is a new strain, and not seen before.

Some of the German news suggests that the infection population is no longer centered with the elderly; Some articles I read today mention young patients being treated for this new strain. One Spanish article suggests that it is a mutant strain, resulting from the possible combination of two known E.Coli bacterial strains.

As mentioned above one can only hope, pray, monitor the situation, and adjust your travel plans accordingly.
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Old Jun 3, 11, 12:57 am   #5
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Back in 2006 there was a similar scare about EHEC in the US and Taco Bell & co had a tough time explaining their salad is fine.

The hype and hysteria is good in the sense that people currently take real care maintaining basic hygiene and travel food should be safer that normal.
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Old Jun 3, 11, 4:30 am   #6
 
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Thanks for advice. When I found new info yesterday - what characteristics the strain had (i.e sticky and produces endotoxin), and that antimicrobials were useless, we decided to change travel plans. Fresh fruit and veg is usually around 70% of our diet, and we just didn't want to worry.

Now we are going to Thailand Not used to idea yet as I love Germany and haven't been outside Europe before, but at least the risk of illness is more controllable.
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Old Jun 3, 11, 4:40 am   #7
 
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You are going to southeast Asia instead of Europe to avoid stomach illness. Is this a joke
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Old Jun 3, 11, 6:53 am   #8
 
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You are going to southeast Asia instead of Europe to avoid stomach illness. Is this a joke
yea i had the same reaction. It's much more likely to get sick in Thailand than here..... Been eating salad and tomatoes over the last few days and i am still alive. Besides nobody knows where it came from - could be pretty much anything...
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Old Jun 3, 11, 10:36 am   #9
 
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Originally Posted by Jasper2009 View Post
that people have likely become ill from eating salad, tomatoes, cucumber etc.
Event this is not really proofed. Fact is they don't know where it came from.
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Old Jun 3, 11, 10:47 am   #10
 
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The point is that in Germany, there is no cure for the problem, and they don't know where it comes from, eg. in Wales, there was a problem with cooked meat from 1 butcher - you can't know.

In Thailand, food poisoning is not caused by an endotoxin, thus antimicrobials are effective, and with antibiotics, Immodium and Dioralyte, you should be ok with a normal food poisoning.
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Old Jun 3, 11, 4:22 pm   #11
 
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French medical experts comment on outbreak: 03.06.2011

http://www.france24.com/en/20110603-...disease-expert

For the benefit of the majority of the FT members, I posted the English translation.
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Old Jun 3, 11, 9:50 pm   #12
 
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It seems the outbreak is confined to Hamburg and the surrounding area. All patients, even the ones hospitalized in the US have been traced to that area. This already should make alarm bells ring: why Hamburg only?
Note that Spanish, Dutch and other cucumbers are imported into every town in Germany. Not just Hamburg. Also, the fact that of the ill 70% are women is strange. What do women eat more so than men do?

Me thinks it is something specific to Hamburg. Like a tainted water supply. Or worse, a "trial" terrorist attack on Hamburg.
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Old Jun 4, 11, 12:53 am   #13
 
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Hormones effect the immune system so that could be why females are more effected. Simpler may be that women are smaller so more effected by dehydration. Or maybe lots of them were on a bikini diet!
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Old Jun 4, 11, 12:58 am   #14
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What do women eat more so than men do?
vegetables. healthy food.
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Old Jun 4, 11, 4:39 am   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by price123 View Post
Thanks for advice. When I found new info yesterday - what characteristics the strain had (i.e sticky and produces endotoxin), and that antimicrobials were useless, we decided to change travel plans. ...
Now we are going to Thailand ...
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So you skip a developed country with an established state of the art health care system that has a freak strain for a underdeveloped country with plenty of known stomach bugs and doubtful standard of hygiene

Have fun in Thailand!
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