Enterohaemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC), can cause severe foodborne disease. Symptoms of an infection include abdominal cramps and diarrhoea that may progress to bloody diarrhoea (haemorrhagic colitis). In a small proportion of patients (particularly young children and the elderly), the infection may lead to a life-threatening disease, such as haemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS). HUS is characterized by acute renal failure, haemolytic anaemia and thrombocytopenia.
EHEC is transmitted to humans primarily through consumption of contaminated foods, such as raw or undercooked ground meat products and raw milk. Its significance as a public health problem was recognized in the early eighties, following an outbreak in the USA. Since early May 2011, an increased incidence of EHEC infections has been observed in North Germany. Cases reported from other European countries had traveled to this area. This particular E. coli O104:H4 strain seems to be particularly virulent and is resistant to most β-Lactam antibiotics. Unfortunately, as of 31 May 2011, more than 30 patients in Germany have died of EHEC induced HUS. There seems to be an association between the outbreak the consumption of
raw cucumbers, tomatoes, and leaf salad vegetable sprouts. I am not sure what the Google Insights graph below exactly tells us... but it is kind of interesting to see that for a while the "web search interest" of EHEC approached Lady Gaga's.