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German E. Coli Strain Not Typical

A new study reveals the strain of E. coli currently spreading through Europe is more deadly than more common forms of the bacteria.

Scientists say the strain, which has been traced to sprouts grown on an organic farm in Germany, is three times more virulent than most forms of E. coli. That's because it has a relentless ability to attach to cells inside the intestine and produces a harmful toxin that can trigger a fatal form of kidney failure. It is also resistant to many antibiotics, making the German E. coli deadlier and easier to transmit.

Another study finds the European outbreak has already sickened over 3,200 people and is responsible for at least 39 deaths.


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