Ten Die As 'Killer Cucumber' Outbreak Spreads

The world's biggest outbreak of a deadly form of E.coli bacteria has claimed another life as it continues to spread across Europe.

Health officials say the virus, believed to have originated from organic cucumbers imported from Spain , has killed 10 people and infected hundreds more in Germany.

The epicentre of the outbreak has been in the country's north with more than 270 people contracting the disease in recent weeks - four times the normal annual figure of about 60.

Three cases have also been reported in Britain , a further 25 in Sweden and seven in Denmark.

In Austria there have been two cases, while the Netherlands and Switzerland have each had one suspected case.

All of the cases are understood to have been linked with travel to Germany.

Experts said the outbreak of hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS), which affects the blood, kidneys and, in severe cases, the nervous system, was the largest ever in Germany - and the biggest of its kind worldwide.

An 86-year-old woman was the latest victim of the bug after she died in the University Hospital Luebeck on Saturday.

Her husband is among about 70 patients being treated for the bacteria at the northern Germany hospital, whose doctors say they expect to see 10 new cases a day in the coming weeks.

Health officials have advised people in affected areas in Europe to avoid eating cucumbers, tomatoes and lettuce.

Some of these products have been removed from shop shelves.

But the Food Standards Agency has confirmed that the offending cucumbers have not been on sale at any outlets in the UK.