Bloomberg News

Four U.S. E. Coli Cases Tied to German Outbreak, CDC Says

June 03, 2011

(Updates with details on travel in the second paragraph.)

June 3 (Bloomberg) -- Four reported U.S. cases of E. coli infections have been connected to the outbreak in Germany, raising the number from two, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

All four people were traveling in northern Germany before returning to the U.S. and becoming ill, Chris Braden, the director of the foodborne, waterborne, and environmental diseases division for the Atlanta-based CDC, said today on a conference call.

At least 18 people have died and more than 1,800 cases of the infection triggered in Germany have been reported in the deadliest outbreak of the bacteria on record, according to health officials from the U.S. and the World Health Organization in Geneva. The U.S. gets 0.2 percent of its produce from Germany and Spain, because the shelf life of fresh fruits and vegetables is short, David Elder, the Food and Drug Administration’s director of regional operations, said. All produce from Germany and Spain is being checked by inspectors before it is allowed to enter the U.S., he said.

“This outbreak has not affected the U.S.,” Elder said during the conference call with reporters. “There’s no reason for Americans to alter” their diets, he said.

In addition to the four suspected cases in the U.S., two American military members, believed to be stationed in Germany, may also be ill with related infections, Braden said.

--Editors: Andrew Pollack, Robin D. Schatz

To contact the reporter on this story: Elizabeth Lopatto in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reg Gale at

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