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World News and Trends: The dangerous spread of E. coli

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World News and Trends

The dangerous spread of E. coli

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"If the full name of any germ could be a household word, it would be Escherichia coli O157:H7, a bacterium that has in the past caused severe food poisoning linked to Jack-in-the Box hamburgers, Taco Bell lettuce and prepackaged spinach. Now E. coli O157:H7 is being overshadowed by more virulent strains of what is normally a benign gut microbe. This spring a recently identified strain of E. coli, O104:H4, killed dozens of people in Europe and landed hundreds more in the hospital" (Christine Gorman, "E. Coli on the March," Scientific American, August 2011).

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are watching at least six types of so-called Shiga toxin E. coli, which can cause bloody diarrhea and, in extreme cases, fatal kidney failure (ibid.). Note these facts: Antibiotics can worsen an E. coli infection; E. coli O104.H4 is resistant to at least 14 antibiotics; E. coli O104:H4 may show up in the United States, and E. coli O157:H7 is becoming less of a threat because of mandatory government health requirements (ibid.).

We live in a complex and often dangerous world. The Bible provides health laws for humanity that can help us live a healthier and safer life. You can get a better handle on life if you read our free booklet Why Does God Allow Suffering? (Source: Scientific American.)