New E.coli strain fatal
A strain of E. coli, which has been linked to imported
meat, is said to be spreading rapidly throughout England and
According to an investigation this new strain of the E. coli bacteria now
affects around 30,000 people a year. The strain produces an enzyme which creates
infections resistant to many drugs. One expert has apparently said it is worse
Recently on the 'Tonight with Trevor McDonald' programme, figures from the
Health Protection Agency (HPA) reveal the growth of the ESBL E.coli bug, which
first appeared in Britain in 2003, mainly affecting elderly women. Two years ago
the HPA reported a rise in infections caused by the strain, with one study
showing it had caused a significant number of deaths in one area.
There have so far been two major outbreaks reported, in Southampton and Shropshire. It is believed that
the bug spread in the North of England, with the number of
cases in Blackpool more than doubling in the last two years.
Professor Peter Collignon, director of the infectious diseases unit at
Canberra Hospital in Australia, tells the programme: "It's worse than MRSA. A
superbug like ESBL is very difficult or sometimes impossible to treat."
Apparently tests for the HPA of chickens for sale in British supermarkets,
found a quarter of foreign chicken had ESBL E.coli, compared with just one
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