In a follow-up to the E. coli outbreak in Romania, European health officials report 25 overall Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC), 24 in Romania and one in Italy, which includes 19 hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) and three fatalities.

European Union/CIA
European Union/CIA

The outbreak, which started two months ago, has primarily affected children (22), ages five to 38 months.

This is an outbreak of STEC O26 confirmed through serology. The epidemiological investigation suggests a single source.

Following initial environmental investigations, E. coli O26 was identified in soft cheese samples produced by a local company that sells traditional dairy items in Arges district, Romania.

The Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) announced a voluntary recall of different milk-based food products from the Romaanian company SC BRADET.

The implicated milk processing establishment exported a particular type of cheese to four EU countries (Belgium, Germany, Italy and Spain) and one Italian importer further distributed this product to France and Germany.

The last Romanian case associated with this outbreak had onset of symptoms on Mar. 14.  The cheese consumed by the Italian case was imported in Italy from Romania on 1 March and had been produced on 18 February 2016 with an expiry date of 18 April 2016.