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Spain angry with Germany over E. coli accusations

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Spain angry with Germany over E. coli accusations

Country denies being the cause of the E. coli outbreak in Europe that has killed 16

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Spain has expressed its anger with Germany for accusing it of causing an unprecedented foodborne bacterial outbreak that has killed 16 people and caused 1,150 to fall sick in Europe.

Spain insists that its cucumbers are not to blame for the deadly E. coli outbreak and says Germany should not have pointed fingers without having reliable information.

"We are disappointed by the way Germany handles the situation," said Spanish Agriculture Minister Rosa Aguilar as reported by BBC.

"We want Germany to provide, without any delay and distractions, the necessary information of its investigation so that the European Union can know what is causing the E. coli outbreak."

The outbreak continues to spread and nearly 400 people in Germany now have a severe and possibly fatal version of the infection, the Associated Press reports.

As doctors try to care for those with the infection, which can attack a person's kidneys and kills up to five percent of patients, investigators are trying to unravel the mystery of how many vegetables are contaminated with enterohaemorrhagic E. coli or EHEC and where the contamination occurred.

Germany expressed doubt Tuesday on where the outbreak came from and acknowledged that cucumbers from Spain may not be to blame, AFP reports. Tests on two cucumbers revealed they carried E. coli, but not the strain responsible for the outbreak.

This comes five days after Germany warned its citizens not to eat Spanish produce.

Experts say they have not seen anything so severe in terms of foodborne outbreaks and the high number of cases of the illness causing kidney complications.

"There has not been such an outbreak before that we know of in the history of public health," Robert Tauxe, a foodborne disease expert at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told AP.

He said the strain of E. coli involved has not been seen in the United States.

In most cases, E. coli causes some diarrhea and other relatively minor stomach ailments. This outbreak has caused severe symptoms from bloody diarrhea to hemolytic uremic syndrome, a rare kidney condition.

This article originally appeared on GlobalPost.

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e. coli, europe, germany, spain

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