Again EHEC infection in northern Germany

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Eight people in a family infected with EHEC bacteria

Again, patients in northern Germany suffer from the typical EHEC complaints. According to information from the health authorities, eight family members in the Aurich district have contracted the germ.

After about a year of the EHEC epidemic, people in Lower Saxony have again become infected with the dangerous infectious disease. According to the Health Department, eight members of a family in Aurich have contracted the pathogen. According to the spokesman for the Aurich Health Office, Eimo Heeren, the health status of two small children is particularly critical. They had to be admitted to the Hannover Medical School (MHH) due to acute kidney failure. One of the two children would feel much better after an initial treatment. The other family members have also been released from the clinic and are now without complaints.

The spokesman emphasized that the cause of the EHEC infection has not yet been clarified. Heeren suspects that the actual cause cannot be found. All examined foods, which were eaten by the family, are laboratory-free.

No need to worry or panic
The health department does not see any reason to panic or alarm the population. The bacterial disease is currently limited to the affected family. In addition, the infection is not unusual, since between 50 and 65 people fall ill with the EHEC germ in Lower Saxony alone.

The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) sees “no cause for alarm” in view of the new number of cases. In an interview, RKI President Reinhard Burger stated that "a certain EHEC activity, ie a certain number of infections in Germany is normal". According to his estimates, around one thousand people in Germany contract the intestinal germ every year. About "60 to 70 of the infections are severe".

In 2011, over 4,000 people became infected with the aggressive EHEC pathogen (Enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli) from strain 0104: H4. Approximately 800 patients suffered from the haemolytic uraemic syndrome in a row. The first symptoms of EHEC are severe diarrhea, abdominal pain, partial nausea and vomiting. In severe cases, life-threatening situations such as kidney failure can arise. (sb)

Read on:
EHEC: How the HUS syndrome was defeated
EHEC epidemic survived
Neurological disorders as EHEC symptoms

Photo credit: Markus Wegner /

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