2 deaths at home for elderly attributed to E. coli infection


A report has concluded that the deaths of two elderly people at a home for the elderly in Sapporo were due to Escherichia coli (E. coli) O157 infection.

The deaths sparked an investigation after which it was concluded that they had been caused by E. coli originating from Chinese cabbage traced back to a Sapporo-based company named Iwai Shokuhin, TV Asahi reported Wednesday.

On Tuesday, city authorities ordered the company to cease operations while they tracked the Chinese cabbage that had been distributed so far, but the company had reportedly already opted to cease trading on Aug 11.

Doctors say that although most strains of the E. coli bacteria are harmless, several are known to produce toxins that can cause diarrhea and strain O157 in particular can cause severe diarrhea and kidney damage.

City health officials also announced Wednesday that they do not believe there is a connection between the deaths at the facility for the elderly and the death of a 4-year-old girl who died from an E. coli 0157 infection on Aug 11, TV Asahi reported. The source of that outbreak has not yet been determined.

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This doesn't surprise me. I have witnessed the dumping of human waste from septic tank trucks onto farm plots here in Japan.

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I have seen people urinating on their vegetables as well as using cat and dog feces as fertilizer. When asked about it I was told that it was normal and a great way to help grow vegetables here in Japan.

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This E. coli 0157 is O157 to be correct. It's not a "zero" but an alphabet "O" .

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Eating raw cabbage could be a source of many kinds of bacteria unless it is well washed or cooked well. Many yakitori places give raw cabbage with soy sauce dressing as "otoshi" with drinks. It could be a flip of the coin.

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Ewan HuzarmyAug. 16, 2012 - 10:00AM JST

I wonder how long it will be before someone blames the Chinese for their cabbage ?

Considering China's history with shoddy food products, not that surprising actually.

E. Coli is generally not that bad that it kills you, but elderly folks, children, and those with depressed immune systems (including by overworking/stress) should not underestimate the power of it. Usually it isn't toxic shock that kills (like some actual infections), rather dehydration, so if you are taking liquid dumps, make sure to drink plenty of water.

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Good point on the above statement.... E-coli is not a deadly germ, by itself anyway, it's the fever, the dehydration and the constant throwing up that takes your lifes toll. It is such a shame that 2 more are dead and 6 more are still hospitalized. Why aren't we reading about them? Are the JT news team on vacation? Anyway, we should be praying for them and hoping for the best in their quick recovery.

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UPDATE: Now there are 7 deaths in total. The news areall over this.

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I wonder how long it will be before someone blames the Chinese for their cabbage ? (Topical sarcasm)

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