Sunday, June 5, 2011

German Hospitals "Overwhelmed" with E.coli Outbreak

Overwhelmed With E.coli Outbreak

Hospitals in northern Germany are being overwhelmed as they struggle to provide enough beds and medical care for patients stricken by an outbreak of E. coli, the German health minister admitted Sunday.

"The situation in the hospitals is intense," minister Daniel Bahr told the Bild am Sonntag newspaper, adding that clinics outside of Hamburg and northern Germany - the epicenter of the E.coli outbreak - should start taking in ill persons from the north.

Hamburg is the epicenter of the deadliest E. coli outbreak in modern history, which has killed at least 18 people since May 2.

More than 1,700 people in Germany have been infected, including 520 suffering from a life-threatening complication that can cause kidney failure.

The situation continues to worsen:

Fear of the aggressive E.coli outbreak also spread to countries outside Europe.

Ten other European nations and the U.S. have reported 90 other cases, all but two related to visits in northern Germany.

The Gulf nation of Qatar on Sunday temporarily banned imports of fresh cucumbers, tomatoes and lettuce from Spain and Germany because of concerns and insisted all other fresh fruit and vegetable shipments from Europe carry a health certificate declaring they are free of the E. coli bacteria.

The United Arab Emirates has banned cucumber imports from Spain, Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands, while Lebanon has banned all vegetables from the 27-nation European Union.

The story below represents one person's experience, which reveals the chaotic situation in Germany:

E.coli survivor describes pain, chaos at hospital

When Nicoletta Pabst woke up last week with stomach cramps and diarrhea at her Hamburg home, it didn't really bother her too much. But when she discovered blood in her stool a few hours later, she got worried.

Hamburg is at the epicenter of an E. coli outbreak, which has killed at least 18 people since May 2.

When Pabst and her husband arrived at the emergency room of the University Medical Center in Hamburg-Eppendorf, they were shocked by the chaotic scenes there.

"When I arrived, there were at least 20 other people and more and more kept coming in, many of them by ambulance."

She said sanitary conditions in the emergency room were abhorrent.

After waiting three hours to be seen, Pabst was told to go home because her blood levels did not indicate that she had kidney failure.

Hospitals in Hamburg have been struggling to provide enough beds for all the infected patients in recent weeks, and several people have said they were initially turned down, only to return days later with much more severe symptoms.

Pabst's stomach cramps and bloody stools also got worse during the night. The next morning she was so weak that she couldn't get up from bed, and her husband called an ambulance.

She was hospitalized at Asklepios Hospital in Hamburg-Altona and taken to an isolation room that doctors and nurses were only allowed to enter when covered from head to toe in protective gowns, gloves and mask.

Her story continues in this article. The source of these infections is still unknown:

"One thing's for sure: as long as the cause of the E. coli outbreak has not been found, there'll be no more vegetables or fruit in our house," Pabst said. "We're only eating deep-frozen meals and spaghetti these days."

Just as Jesus warned - there will be pestilences in this age. We see these types of stories frequently; this is just one more to add to the list.


gearedup2go said...

Scott, it's good to see you back here and I continue to pray for the peace that passes all understanding. For our loved ones who suffer and labor in death, it is truly a blessing when they are finally released from their bodies and enter into new bodies that are perfected for all eternity.

I hope they soon determine the source of the E. coli. It's alarming how the virus continues to mutate into a more dangerous strain that's resistant to strong antibiotics. So many lives hang in the balance and I pray for those who are affected by this outbreak.

Since we have had the flood, microbes in the soil along with the dangerous, moist heat have created an environment for super microbes that are affecting livestock. 2 of my 3 dogs are symptomatic for a nasty parasite with symptoms similar to the E.coli described above. They are being successfully treated with Metronidazole and Zofran.

Perhaps towns that have been inundated with flood waters are facing a potentially dangerous situation with not only microbes in the soil and water, but an increase in the mosquito population that could spread diseases such as viral meningitis. I pray that this doesn't come to pass.

Scott said...

geared up - I had no idea that this was happening (with the animals, resulting from the floods) but it makes perfect sense...I hope they get better soon...I left NC to go to Tenn to work in research in the drugs in the class of Zofran (this was exciting research in the '80's)...I worked on Kytrill at the time, and interestingly, my wife was on the team that developed Zofran (who was my main competitor at the time, interestingly enough).

Dylan said...

Geardup, up here in Alberta there's lots of mosquitoes from the rain we've been getting. I have a feeling there's gonna be some complications like west nile virus etc. This summer.

DrNofog said...

Dylan, advice from a senior Electronics Engineer where I worked yrs ago, his favorite saying: "DON'T say it ... If it's good, it goes away ... if it's bad, it happens!!!"

Dylan said...

So don't jinx it pretty much?

gearedup2go said...

Dylan, seems that we are on the same level in many respects. I will wish that your pesky mosquitoes leave the country and head for Siberia whilst you wish for our petri dish to limit the sneaky microbes that want to hitch a ride.

Scott, so you married your competitor, eh? :-) Are you both currently publishing your findings on similar class pharmaceuticals? Hm, interesting dinner conversations to be sure. Just remember, a Coleman air mattress can fit anywhere.

Scott said...

Geared - that was a looooooooong time ago. I was only involved in the trials for about 2 years and I'm not sure if I was on those publications or not (the trials concluded after I left) - she is on a several Zofran pubs though. Both of those drugs came out in close proximity - I left that company to go back and work where she was (unwittingly)...It seems like centuries ago..I did most of my research in respiratory drugs (asthma, COPD, emphysema etc), where most of my pubs are. I then got into drug safety in the mid-'90s and have been there ever since FWIW :)

Guantes DE Nitrilo said...

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