No new cases in enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli outbreak in the United Kingdom

No new cases have been reported in the outbreak of enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) in the United Kingdom since 5 July 2016, and only 6 new infections were reported with onset after 29 June. It would be expected that almost all cases with onset of symptoms after 5 July would have been reported by 26 July.

Background and outbreak details

On 1 July 2016, the International Health Regulations (2005) focal point for the United Kingdom notified WHO of an outbreak of EHEC in England and Wales caused by Shiga toxin-producing E. coli  O157 PT34. As of 28 July, the United Kingdom had reported 161 cases, of which 157 were confirmed and 4 were probable. A total of 66 patients sought hospital care for their illness, of whom 56 were admitted. Nine patients had symptoms consistent with haemolytic uraemic syndrome, a life-threatening disease, and two patients died.

To date, no other country in the Region has reported an increase in similar or related cases, and the event is currently considered to be an outbreak confined to the United Kingdom. However, the source of the outbreak has not yet been identified, although continuing investigations suggest a strong association with eating mixed salad leaves.