Europe E. Coli Outbreak is Deadliest on Record: World Health Organization  
6/3/2011 7:22:28 AM

E. coli that has sickened thousands in Europe has become the deadliest outbreak of the bacteria on record as a rare strain is causing kidney failure in unprecedented numbers, U.S. health officials said.

At least 16 people have died and 1,624 cases have been reported, according to the World Health Organization in Geneva. The number of reported cases is based on hospital records, and the actual number of infections may be 10 or more times higher, said Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota.