EHEC O104:H4 – The outbreak 2011
From May to July 2011, primarily in northern Germany, there was a large outbreak of illnesses characterized by haemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS) and bloody diarrhoea caused by enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) of the serotype O104:H4. Fenugreek sprouts were identified as most likely vehicle of infection.
A total of 855 cases of HUS and 2,987 cases of acute gastroenteritis were attributed to the outbreak (as of 16 August, 2011). The majority of cases were adults. This is in stark contrast to the cases of EHEC gastroenteritis and HUS reported in previous years, when children were predominantly affected. Overall, 53 fatalities occurred, 35 (4.1 %) among HUS patients and 18 (0.6 %) among patients with EHEC gastroenteritis.
The Robert Koch Institute has published a detailed final report on the outbreak (see link below).