Public advised not to panic over E. coli outbreak: Health Ministry

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NONTHABURI, June 20 – Thai Public Health Minister Jurin Laksanawisit on Monday urged the public not to panic over the spread of the deadly bacteria E. coli through human-to-human transmission following the discovery of the first case of human-to-human transmission of the fatal E. coli O104 bacteria in Germany.

As a precautionary measure, the minister said the public are advised to wash hands regularly both before and after eating, using serving spoon and eating hygienic food.

China’s official Xinhua news agency reported Health officials in Germany have confirmed they have detected the first case of human to human spread of the deadly strain of the E. coli bacteria.

Authorities say a woman working in a kitchen of a catering company near Frankfurt became infected with the new strain after eating sprouts and passed it on to 20 people she prepared food for.

Daniel Bahr, German Health Minister said “Now we have the proof that in this case a human passed on the germ to the vegetables and then it was passed to other humans. We need to analyze this calmly, and see which consequences we draw from that.”

The Thai health minister said the department and related committee will discuss this afternoon the latest development of the E. coli outbreak.

In a related development, Dr Paichit Varachit, permanent secretary for public health, affirmed thathe strain of E. coli bacteria found in Germany has not been discovered yet in Thailand. So far, no case of human-to-human spread of E. coli has been found as well.

The permanent secretary said that measures related to monitoring the disease will be tightened, ordering provincial health chiefs in tourist destination areas to closely monitor foreign travellers’ health and to report to the ministry if they have stomach pain, diarrhea and kidney failure. (MCOT online news)