I’m always torn about posting this stuff, because while it’s certainly newsworthy, you probably already know that our food system is at high risk and you don’t need to get hit over the head to understand that:
The World Health Organisation has said that the E coli bacterium responsible for an outbreak that has left 17 dead and infected hundreds in Europe is a new strain that has never been seen before.
Preliminary genetic sequencing suggests the strain is a mutant form of two different E coli bacteria, with lethal genes that could explain why the Europe-wide outbreak appeared to be so big and dangerous, the agency said.
Hilde Kruse, a food safety expert at the WHO, told the Associated Press that “this is a unique strain that has never been isolated from patients before”.
She added that the new strain has “various characteristics that make it more virulent and toxin-producing”.
So far the mutant E coli strain has infected more than 1,500, including 470 who have developed a rare kidney failure complication. Researchers have been unable to pinpoint the cause of the outbreak, which has hit at least nine European countries.