By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

The Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH), or Folkehelseinstituttet, reported the first death in a child from hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) from E.coli in more than a decade.

Escherichia coli
Image/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)

The child, from Oslo municipality, was under two years of age. The source of the infections was not published.

Hilde Marie Lund, with the NIPH, said deaths in children related to HUS caused by EHEC infection are very unusual.

In fact, the last death was reported in 2009, Dr Lund noted.

In 2019, 511 cases of EHEC infections were reported to the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, of which 10 developed the serious complication HUS. So far in 2020, there has been a reduction in infectious diseases reported to MSIS, also for EHEC infections. This is probably due to infection control measures in connection with Covid-19.

So far this year, FHI has registered 169 EHEC infections, of which 4 cases have been registered by HUS, of which two cases have been notified in July.

E.coli bacteria (Escherichia coli) is a common term for bacteria that are found naturally in the colon of all humans and warm-blooded animals. These intestinal bacteria are usually harmless, but some groups of the bacterium can cause serious illness. One such group is the EHEC bacterium.

The EHEC bacterium can cause diarrhea, which is sometimes bloody. This can last for 4-10 days in adults and somewhat longer in children. In rare cases, some forms of the EHEC bacterium cause serious complications in the form of the severe kidney disease hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS). The disease most often affects children and is due to the fact that some EHEC bacteria produce toxins (toxins) attack kidney tissue.

Health officials say EHEC infection can be prevented by good hand hygiene and the following:

  • cook all hamburger meat well
  • Whole pieces of meat (beef, roast, fillet and the like) should be well cooked on the surface
  • Avoid non-disinfected drinking water
  • Avoid unpasteurized milk and products made from unpasteurized milk
  • Vegetables and salads that are to be eaten raw should be rinsed well
  • imported frozen berries, herbs, minimais, sugar peas and asparagus should be heat treated
  • store food at cooling temperature (+ 4 ° C) – remember cool box in the summer heat
  • wash hands after using the toilet, after contact with animals and before cooking and eating
  • wash knives, cutting sensors and kitchen utensils that have been contaminated with raw materials, before using the equipment for other food.


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