Outbreak of kidney failure caused by E.coli bacteria in Puglia, Italy

The number of cases of kidney failure (called haemolytic-uremic syndrome or HUS) that is caused by toxins released by a particular strain of E.coli bacteria has now reached 16. The first case was recorded in early June and the latest case on August 19th. Cases have been reported in lower Salento, San Marco in Lamis, and Foggiano. Most of the cases have been young children; there have been no deaths. Although the source of these infections is not yet known, contaminated water is suspected. Travellers can reduce the risk of exposure to the many germs that cause intestinal illness (such as cholera, E.coli, salmonella, and many viruses) by avoiding consumption of contaminated food and water and by practising careful personal hygiene with frequent hand washing.

Visit our Health Library for more information on exposure to and the prevention of Food and Water Contamination and Traveller's Diarrhoea.

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