Playground source for 2009 E. coli O157 outbreak in Germany; 1 death, 3 ill

In summer 2009, four boys living in the same suburb in Germany developed diarrhea-associated hemolytic uremic syndrome: three were infected by STEC O157:H- and one died.

Writing in Zoonoses and Public Health, researchers screened the stools of 220 persons which led to the identification of only four additional cases: two asymptomatic carriers and two diarrheal cases.

HUS was strongly associated with visiting a local playground in July, particularly on 16th July (odds ratio = 42.7, P = 0.002). No other commonality, including food, was identified, and all environmental samples (n = 24) were negative. In this localized non-foodborne outbreak, the place of likely infection was a local playground.

The complete abstract is available at