E. coli outbreak is a new strain
Aphaluck Bhatiasevi, a WHO spokesperson, is reported as saying: “This strain has never been seen in an outbreak situation before.”
Scientists at the Beijing Genomics Institute, in China, are also reported as saying: “This E.coli is a new strain of bacteria that is highly infectious and toxic.”
Preliminary genetic analysis of the outbreak suggests the bacteria is unique.
New strains of e.coli emerging in the food chain. Government in the US responds by
immediately increasing the level of regulation and supervision to ensure ongoing food safety finding new ways to hamstring consumer protection.
As I’ve pointed out before, investing in preventing foodborne illness is smart. If saving lives isn’t enough of a motivator, remember that medical care for those affected and economic damage to the food industry are expensive. By one estimate, the tomato industry lost $100 million from the 2008 Salmonella infections, and it wasn’t even the source of the bacteria. I’d rather see the burden of foodborne-illness prevention borne equally by all taxpayers, rather than by a small number of industries, patients, and grieving families.