[Source: Italy Ministry of Health, full page in Italian: (LINK). Translated and edited.]
Haemolytic Uremic Syndrome: Cases reported from Apulia
The Haemolytic Uremic Syndrome Italian Registry System, in cooperation with the National Institute of Health (ISS, www.iss.it/seu) and with Italian Society for Paediatric Kidney Diseases (SINP), has been informed about several reported cases of HUS in patients resident in Apulia region or in people traveled there before the symptoms onset.
Since July 1 till July 14 2013 eight children and one adult patients have been hospitalized after developing HUS.
Most of HUS cases are secondary to a verocytotoxin producing Escherichia Coli infection (VTEC), with diarrhea, often with bloody stool, vomitus and abdominal pain.
Preliminary laboratory investigations, performed by National Reference Laboratory for E.Coli at ISS, on two patients’ samples, revealed an infection with VTEC O26. Further investigation on the other cases are ongoing.
Apulia Region Health Authorities are conducting epidemiological investigations, with Ministry of Health and National Institute of Health. These activities have not been able so far to ascertain with certainty a common source of infection.
Regional Authorities are enhancing their epidemiological surveillance on local gastroenteritis activity, while the ISS sent an Alert message to all Italian paediatric kidney diseases Departments, through the SNIP, for early detection of other cases in the various Regions, possibly linked to the Apulia outbreak.
For the same reason, ISS sent an Alert message to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).
Health Authorities are recommending population in Apulia, or those that may have performed recent travel there, to seek medical advice at local hospital if bloody diarrhea should be developed, especially when very young children are involved.
Further information on HUS with FAQs are available on the ISS website (in Italian): http://www.iss.it/seu/index.php?lang=1&anno=2013&tipo=16