Arizona Death May Be Linked to European E. Coli
US resident dies after traveling to Germany
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 23, 2011 2:55 PM CDT
In this June 5 photo, a woman holds bean sprouts with chopsticks in Berlin.   (AP Photo/Gero Breloer, File)

(Newser) – Health officials say the death of an Arizona resident who recently traveled to Germany may be linked to the food-poisoning outbreak in Europe. The man, who died in mid-June, developed a serious E. coli complication that can lead to kidney failure. But officials don't know yet whether he was sickened by the same bacteria strain that has hit thousands in Europe, mostly in Germany. If confirmed, it would be the first US death and sixth case tied to the outbreak. Officials have traced the outbreak to raw vegetable sprouts from a farm in northern Germany.

Health officials said the man was over 65 and lived in northern Arizona, but released few other details. His recent trip to Germany, coupled with the kidney complication, sparked suspicion the case was linked to the European illnesses. So far, there have been five confirmed cases in the US, two in Michigan and one in Massachusetts, Wisconsin, and North Carolina. All but one had recently been to Germany. One Michigan case apparently caught the illness from the other, a relative.