Less long-term consequences in patients with marriage

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Long-term consequences in patients decline two years after Ehec

After a Ehec epidemic terrified Germany in 2011, some patients are still suffering from long-term consequences of the infection. An investigation of those affected at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE) showed that the number of people with long-term damage is declining.

Severe course of Ehec can lead to kidney failure A total of 120 patients were invited to the study in the UKE, who were diagnosed with the particularly severe course of Ehec, the haemolytic-uremic syndrome (Hus). 73 of them appeared. It was found that only six percent of the examined patients had an increased creatinine value in the blood. The value provides information about the functionality of the kidney. In the study last year, this value was increased in 14 percent of those affected. After the patient was discharged in 2011, the figure was as high as 59 percent, kidney specialist Professor Rolf Stahl from UKE told the news agency "dpa". "It is a very gratifying change," the doctor commented on the test result. Nevertheless, these numbers are only a tendency to improve. "It is not yet a long-term observation, so we should wait for the data from five years," explained Stahl.

Another part of the investigation was a check of the protein content in the patient's urine. The value can give an indication of kidney damage. While 85 percent of those affected still had an increased protein content in urine in 2011, this year it was only 25 percent. "But the urine levels are now very low," Stahl reported. Only 15 percent of patients now need high-pressure medication. In 2011, that affected 40 percent. Nevertheless, the kidney specialist warned against excessive euphoria. Further developments must be awaited.

Authorities analyze Ehec outbreak in 2011 As Stahl further explained, part of the UKE's results should flow into an "Analysis of the Ehec / Hus outbreak in May / June 2011" funded by the Federal Ministry of Health. The evaluation is carried out in cooperation between UKE, the university hospitals Hanover, Kiel and Lübeck and the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). The aim is to create a database that is as comprehensive as possible with all patients suffering from Ehec in 2011.

In 2011, 53 people died in the largest outbreak of Ehec in Germany - mostly from kidney failure. A Ehec infection is particularly noticeable due to watery, bloody diarrhea-like bowel movements accompanied by severe cramping abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting as well as fever. In addition, a variety of other symptoms such as kidney pain, increased liver function tests and urinary poisoning (uraemia) can occur. The particularly severe form of Hus can lead to acute kidney failure, a life-threatening consequence of the Ehec infection.

For a long time the origin of Ehec bacteria (Enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli) was unknown. Fenugreek seeds from Egypt have now been identified as the source. (ag)

Image: Markus Wegner / pixelio.de

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