Two people have died in Finland as investigations into a Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) outbreak continue.
The National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) has received nine reports of suspected E. coli outbreaks from across Finland from June to August. Seven E. coli O103 outbreaks reported to the agency from municipalities in different parts of the country belong to the same incident.
Updating a previous report, the agency said the start date of the epidemic has been set as the end of July. This is defined based on typing of patient isolates. In THL’s laboratory from July 27 to Aug. 24, there were 57 E. coli O103 cases with the Shiga toxin 1 (stx1) gene recorded. Of these, 40 clustered based on whole genome sequencing (WGS) indicating they could be from the same source.
Women are slightly more affected than men. The median age is 37 years old and the range is 2 to 97 years of age.