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City of Alexandria, VA City of Alexandria, VA
Health Department
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Page updated Jun 13, 2011 2:30 PM
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The Health Department phone system is being updated. Please use 703.746.4996 to contact us by phone.

El sistema telefónico del Departamento de Salud está siendo actualizado. Por favor use el 703.746.4996 para contactarnos por teléfono.

Advice for US Travelers to Germany

German health authorities have reported an outbreak of a severe illness called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). Early symptoms of HUS include decreased frequency or volume of urination, feeling very tired, and losing pink color in the cheeks and inside the lower eyelids. Signs of HUS typically start 5–7 days after the start of diarrhea.

The organism causing the outbreak has been identified as Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) O104:H4. On June 11, 2011, German health authorities confirmed that raw sprouts associated with the investigation were contaminated with enterohaemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) 0104:H4 and stated that the strains of EHEC 0104:H4 found in the sprouts were identical to the EHEC 0104:H4 strains found in patients.  In addition to adherence to good hygiene practices, German health authorities recommend abstaining from eating raw sprouts.

If you have traveled to Germany and have bloody diarrhea and stomach cramps or symptoms of HUS, go to a doctor right away and tell him or her about your recent travel.