Number of people falling sick from European E. coli outbreak traced to contaminated sprouts from Germany slows, but death toll rises to 37

BERLIN , June 14, 2011 () – The number of people falling sick as a result of E. coli contamination has slowed to a trickle, Germany's national disease control center said Tuesday, even as the death toll from the outbreak rose by one Tuesday to 37.

The Robert Koch Institute said a total of 3,235 people in Germany have been reported ill, only seven more than the previous day.

Germany's health minister has cautioned that even though the outbreak is waning further deaths are possible. The local council in the northern town of Celle said a two-year-old boy died overnight, news agency DAPD reported.

Thirty-six people in Germany and one in Sweden have now died in what has been the deadliest outbreak of E. coli ever.

German authorities have narrowed the source of the outbreak to vegetable sprouts from a farm in the north of the country.

They are warning consumers against eating any vegetable sprouts until they determine whether the farm received tainted seeds -- meaning other farms could also be affected -- or whether the cause was a hygienic problem at the farm itself.

The disease control center said that 782 of the reported cases in Germany have involved a rare complication that can lead to kidney failure.

The outbreak has been centered squarely on Germany. Just over 100 cases have been reported in other countries -- practically all in people who had traveled to Germany.

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