Bean Sprouts Ruled As Possible Cause Of E. Coli Outbreak
The German Agricultural Ministry of Lower Saxony announced, Sunday, bean sprouts from the Hamburg area may be related to the recent E Coli epidemic.
Since its outbreak this week, a total of 22 deaths as well as 1,600 E Coli related sicknesses have been reported according to The Wall Street Journal. The delivery of bean sprouts from the area have been tied to the several infection cases. But, despite the discover, authorities have not ruled out other possibilities as causes of the outbreak as it is yet uncertain if the bacteria found in the bean sprouts are the same strand as the bacteria from the outbreak; Testing is expected to be completed Monday.
As a precautionary measure, Hamburg health ministry warns patrons to avoid uncooked vegetables especially bean sprouts.
Along with health concerns, The German Farmers' Association has said that it expects a loss of $44 million a week in sales affecting markets and restaurants.
Meanwhile, hospitals in the area are reportedly having trouble keeping up with patients coming in for treatment.
Earlier on Sunday, Daniel Bahr, Germany’s health minister, had warned that hospitals in the north of the country were struggling to find enough beds and described the situation as “intense”.
While the source of the outbreak still isn't certain, authorities continue their frenzied search for the cause. Hamburg hospitals have been flooded with patients, requiring doctors and nurses to work overtime and skip vacations. There is talk of reactivating retired doctors and nurses. Recent clues haven't led to conclusive answers about the cause of the outbreak, and the director of Germany's Robert Koch Institute said he can't rule out that the source might already be gone.