CDC: Without ‘Smoking Gun’ in E. Coli Outbreak, Caution Needed

Saturday, June 11, 2011
By Paul Martin
June 10, 2011

The Center for Disease control in Atlanta is urging caution in German health officials’ declaration Friday that bean sprouts are the ultimate source of the E. coli outbreak that has killed 31 people and sickened nearly 3,100.
CDC officials said without a ‘smoking gun’ – bacteriological evidence – it’s difficult to say with certainty where the outbreak came from, said Tom Skinner, CDC spokesman. German officials mistakenly identified cucumbers from Spain as the source, and had to back off of an earlier assertion that sprouts were to blame.
Skinner said without bacterial evidence that it was sprouts, the CDC will be watching the ‘epidemic curve’ of the outbreak. If it is sprouts, now that they are off the market, the number of new infections should begin to drop off rapidly.

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