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EU Report Shows Salmonella Infections Down, E. coli Increased

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has delivered their annual report on zoonoses and food-borne outbreaks for 2010.

Fifteen zoonotic diseases were tracked by the 27 European Union Member States. Salmonellosis cases in humans had a 9% reduction to 99,020. In addition, slight decreases in other zoonoses such as infections caused by Yersinia enterocolitica, Trichinella and Listeria monocytogenes were reported.  “Decreases in human cases of salmonellosis and other zoonotic diseases show that EU level control measures, resulting from surveillance of disease in humans with information from food and animals, are effective”, states Johan Giesecke, Chief Scientist at ECDC.

In contrast, increasing were cases of Campylobacteriosis which was the most regularly reported zoonosis with 212,064 human cases and 4,000 confirmed shiga-producing toxin E. coli (STEC) related infections.  The report was for 2010 so it does not include the estimated 4,000 illnesses and 50 deaths from last year’s E. coli O104:H4 outbreak that began in Germany. These trends “highlight the need of further joint efforts”, continues Prof. Gieseke. “For this, ECDC will continue to strengthen its links with all important partners and foster collaboration in order to decrease the occurrence of these diseases in the EU”.

A total of 5,262 food-borne outbreaks were reported in the EU, causing 43,473 human cases, 4,695 hospitalizations and 25 deaths.  Additionally, 14 waterborne outbreaks were reported, related to the contamination of private and public water sources. Most of the 5,262 reported food-borne outbreaks were caused by Salmonella, viruses, Campylobacter and bacterial toxins and the main food sources were eggs, mixed or buffet meals and vegetables.

The full report is available here (.pdf).

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