1996 - Enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli in Japan - Update
28 August 1996
Disease Outbreak Reported
The outbreak of enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) infection in Sakai City has affected a total of 6 309 schoolchildren and 92 school staff members from 62 municipal elementary schools. Another 160 cases have been reported, mainly among family members of infected schoolchildren. No new cases have been reported since 8 August. The number of hospitalized patients peaked at 534 on 18 July and had decreased to 31 by 26 August. The number of patients diagnosed with haemolytic uraemic syndrome peaked at 101 cases on 24 July. Two of them, a 10-year-old girl and a 12-year-old girl, had died by 26 August. E.coli serotype O157:H7 was commonly detected in patients' stool samples.
As of 26 August 1996, a total of 9 578 cases of E.coli serotype O157:H7 had been reported in Japan, resulting in 11 deaths. Although most of the cases are believed to be food borne, the contaminated food has not been identified with certainty except in a few isolated cases. Analysis of DNA patterns of the isolates from various sources suggests a heterogenous origin of contamination.
(Based on a report from the Ministry of Health and Welfare, Tokyo)
Further information from Japan on the outbreak is posted at http://www.nih.go.jp/yoken/iasr/198/tpc198.html