European E. Coli Outbreak Subject of AVMA Convention Program

Schaumburg, Illinois— The fact that no U.S. Department of Defense personnel based in Europe became ill during the 2011 outbreak of E. coli O104 is due in part to a concerted effort by the U.S. Army’s Public Health Command Region-Europe.

More than 4,000 people became ill, and about 50 people died during the outbreak. U.S. personnel stationed in Europe, however, escaped unscathed. And some of the reasons why are the subject of a program titled, “”Multidisciplinary Response to the Escherichia coli O104 Outbreak in Europe,”” that will be held Saturday, July 16, from 9-9:50 a.m. in Room 121-122 at the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Annual Convention at America’s Center in St. Louis, Mo.

Led by Michael Cooper, an epidemiologist with the U.S. Public Health Service, and Charles C. Dodd, program manager for Veterinary Services for the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps, the program will explore how the Public Health Command Region-Europe immediately established a multidisciplinary team to monitor and prevent E. coli O104 exposure to the European Department of Defense population. The team included veterinarians, physicians, epidemiologists, laboratory diagnosticians, food safety specialists, public affairs officers and environmental health officers.

Timely and accurate risk assessment, management and communication were vital in protecting the European Department of Defense population during the outbreak, according to Cooper and Dodd. No cases of E. coli O104 were reported in European Department of Defense personnel as of July 8, 2011.

For more information, contact David Kirkpatrick, media relations manager-outreach, at 847-285-6782 (office), 847-409-0519 (cell).


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