1. Infections

    E. Coli Outbreak Now Deadliest in History

    STOECKTE, GERMANY - JUNE 04:  Leon Ehlers (L), 9, helps worker Waldemar dump cucumbers that had been picked and sorted only two days before onto a cart to scatter them onto a field for shredding at the Ehlers Gartenbau cucumber farm near Hamburg on June 4, 2011 in Stoeckte, Germany. Vegetable farmers in northern Germany are facing a crisis as public reaction to the current enterohemorrhagic E. coli, also known as the EHEC bacteria, outbreak has brought vegetable sales to a near halt. Ehlers Gartenbau owner Uwe Ehlers says during the past week he has had to destroy between 10,000 and 12,000 cucumbers a day, creating a daily loss of approximately EUR 4,000 for his operation. "We have the best-quality cucumbers in Europe," says Ehler's wife Petra. "We thought people will always eat vegetables." At least 18 people have died from the EHEC outbreak and authorities, who initially suspected raw cucumbers, tomatoes and salad as being the carrier of the bacteria, are still seeking clues as to the cause.  (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

    Sean Gallup / Getty Images

    The European E. coli outbreak has killed 19 people, becoming one of the deadliest E. coli outbreaks in modern history. It has also sickened thousands of people, including four suspected cases in the United States. It is unknown where and how the disease is infecting people, but 17 people fell ill after eating in the German city of Lübeck in May. The four cases in the U.S. are all people who likely contracted the virus in Germany back in May, and carried it to the U.S. Two American military service members serving in Germany are also suspected cases. The FDA is monitoring lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers from Spain and Germany, though produce from these countries accounts for less than 0.2 percent of produce imported into the U.S. every year.

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