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Officials: U.S. Not Affected by European E. Coli Outbreak
Date:6/4/2011

this time we have no reason to believe and no expectation that this will spread in our country," he said.

Adding a word of caution, Don Kraemer, the FDA's deputy director of the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, said during the press conference that "we haven't had this strain of E. coli in the United States and hopefully we never will."

"It's not impossible to have an outbreak from pathogenic E. coli in the U.S., but we do think the controls we have in place now significantly reduce the risk," he said.

Meanwhile, health officials in Germany said Friday that there were signs the outbreak may be easing, even though the number of people sickened by the new strain of E. coli was still rising.

But the officials cautioned that it was too soon to say the worst is over, and the source of the contamination remains unidentified.

Nearly 200 new cases of E. coli infection were reported in Germany -- northern Germany is the epicenter of the outbreak -- during the first two days of June, the Robert Koch Institute disease control center said. However, new infections peaked on May 21 and May 22, and have been falling since, the Associated Press reported.

Nearly 1,733 people in the country have been sickened by the bacteria, including 520 who have a potentially fatal complication that can cause kidney failure.

The World Health Organization said 10 other European nations and the United States also have reported a total of 90 people who have fallen ill. All but two had recently visited northern Germany or, in one case, had contact with a visitor from the region, the AP said.

The Los Angeles Times reported Friday that the CDC is now advising Americans who visit Germany, especially northern Germany, to not eat raw tomatoes, fresh cucumbers and leafy salads. The agency also advises anyone who has traveled to the country and has become ill with symptoms of E. coli poisoning -- bloody diarrhea, stomach cr
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