Health authorities in France are reporting (computer translated) two hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) cases in young children linked to the consumption of raw milk reblochon.
The two children, both less than 3 years of age and living in the same region, tested positive for E. coli O26. Both ate raw milk reblochon – a type of cheese.
This prompted French officials to recall Reblochon packaged under the brands Pochat and Beulet (see recall notice in French).
Public Health France, in conjunction with the National Reference Center for Escherichia coli, is continuing the enhanced surveillance of hemolytic and uremic syndromes (HUS) that may occur as a result of the consumption of products contaminated with Escherichia coli O26 bacteria to detect possible new cases related to this consumption.
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HUS is an infrequent disease in France: between 100 and 150 cases are reported as part of the surveillance system each year.
It is a serious illness that begins with diarrhea often with blood, abdominal pain and sometimes vomiting. These symptoms can evolve (in 5 to 8% of cases), after about a week, to a heemolytic uremic syndrome. The child then shows signs of great fatigue, pallor, a decrease in the volume of the urine, which become darker, and sometimes convulsions.
In the international literature, the death rate varies between 3 and 5% (1% according to French surveillance data). This disease is most often caused by a bacterium belonging to the family Escherichia coli , some strains are more virulent and produce toxins called “shigatoxins”.
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