- Islamic State opens ‘marriage bureau’ for single jihadists
- Drone almost blocks California firefighting planes
- Tornado rips off roofs, downs trees near Boston
- GOP: Environmental rules keeping agents from accessing border
- John Kerry: Millions displaced by religious fighting in 2013
- Federal appeals court rules against Virginia’s gay marriage ban
- White House says Russia ‘losing’ war in Ukraine
- Hamas turns to North Korea for weapons deal, Iran for money
- Syrian casualties surge as jihadis consolidate
- U.N. rights chief: Flight MH17 downing possible war crime
E. coli outbreak prompting experimental treatments
Question of the Day
But a large minority _ about one-third _ developed serious complications. Though the diarrhea calmed, many started collecting fluid _ as much as 15 kilograms (33 pounds) _ in their stomachs, legs and lungs, Hagenmueller said.
Others suffered epileptic seizures and neurological problems that robbed them of their speech. Liver problems have also been reported among the E. coli patients treated at the hospital. In the most serious cases, patients are exposed to a life-threatening attack on kidney function.
“Uncomplicated to complicated happens very quickly,” Hagenmueller said. “Over the last three weeks each and every day there has been some surprise for us.”
Doctors have often tried experimental therapies during outbreaks including SARS and Ebola when there were no good alternatives. In Hong Kong and Canada, doctors initially thought SARS patients were responding to a new drug regimen, but as they rolled it out in more patients, they found the treatment was toxic and in fact weakened patients’ immune systems.
About two weeks ago, Hagenmueller decided to try antibiotics on Nicoletta Pabst, a 41-year-old homemaker, who was admitted with a severe case.
Pabst said she was willing to try anything.
“He explained everything to me and I was ready to try it out, anything to make me feel better again would have been right at the time,” she said. “I was so sick.”
Hagenmueller said there was only “weak scientific evidence” to support the theory that antibiotics could cause the bacteria to release more toxins in the body.
“Nicoletta Pabst did fantastically and she was a very serious case,” he said. “She did so well that she went home in a week.”
Last week, the hospital adopted antibiotics as its regular treatment for all new serious cases. A total of six Asklepios patients have been treated with antibiotics since the outbreak started.
“We’ve had five from last Friday and they are all progressing well, so I’m feeling a little optimistic, though the number five is too small to mean anything,” Hagenmueller said.
Pabst said she was just grateful doctors are trying whatever they can to fight the outbreak.
“I think the key to my quick recovery was not only the antibiotics treatment but also that he gave it to me in a very early stage of the illness,” she said. “And who knows, maybe that even prevented my getting HUS.”
Grieshaber reported from Berlin. AP Medical Writer Maria Cheng in London contributed to this report.
TWT Video Picks
By Scott Pinsker
- Illegal immigrants demand representation in White House meetings
- Hillary Clinton: Forget Obama, George W. Bush made her 'proud to be an American'
- D.C. seeks to stay judge's order allowing gun owners to carry in public
- Babson College, BYU win top spots in Money magazine's college rankings
- Tennessee Gov. Haslam slams White House for secret dump of illegals in his state
- Iraqi Christians rally at White House: 'Obama, Obama, where are you?'
- White House defends Kerry failure to broker Middle East cease-fire
- White House says Russia 'losing' war in Ukraine
- Romney would win popular vote in rematch against Obama: CNN poll - Washington Times#.U9ZSgi7-CXU.twi
- Ohio sheriff sends bill to Mexico for cost of jailing illegals
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq