Norway reports E. coli outbreak: Investigation ongoing

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Health officials in Norway are reporting an E. coli O157: H7 outbreak that has sickened six people since June.

The six patients reside in different counties–Akershus, Oslo, Vestfold, Hordaland and Trøndelag.

The Norwegian Institute of Public Health is cooperating with the municipal health service and the Norwegian Food Safety Authority and the Veterinary Institute to investigate whether the patients may have a common source of infection.

Interviews are conducted with the patients, and samples from the homes are taken to find the source of infection if possible. Investigative work can be complicated and take time, and in many cases it will not be possible to find the source of infection or to clarify whether it is a common source”, says Solveig Jore, senior adviser at the National Institute of Public Health.

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The E. coli O157: H7 bacterium can cause diarrhea, occasionally bloody. This can last for 4-10 days in adults and slightly longer in children. In rare cases, the bacterium can cause the serious complication of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). HUS is a serious kidney disease, which in most children is due to poison-producing EHEC bacteria (the bacterium produces so-called toxins).

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