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Published: Thursday, 6/16/2011

Toll from German E. coli outbreak up to 39 dead, another 3,400 people infected


BERLIN — The death toll in Europe’s E. coli outbreak rose to 39 on Thursday, as Germany’s disease control center reported that one more patient died.

The Robert Koch Institute, however, said the number of new infections is continuing to tail off.

Thirty-eight people have now died in Germany and one in Sweden in the outbreak, which was traced last week to sprouts from a farm in northern Germany.

The disease control center says the number of reported infections in Germany now stands at 3,304, including 786 people who have developed a serious complication that can lead to kidney failure.

The World Health Organization says more than 100 people have been infected in 13 other European countries, Canada and the U.S.

Germany’s health minister has warned that although the outbreak is abating, more deaths are possible.

Authorities are still recommending that consumers do not eat any vegetable sprouts as they try to determine how the bacteria got onto the farm — whether through workers, in seeds or by some other means like contaminated water.

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