Germany's Current E. Coli Crisis Primarily Affecting Women

Germans have been experiencing their own version of the movie Outbreak after numerous people were admitted to the hospital requiring "massive blood plasma exchanges to try and purge their systems of the toxins from the aggressive, previously unknown form of E. coli."

It appears that the cause of the outbreak was a crop of vegetable sprouts from a local farm. And it's just as intense as you'd imagine:

More than 700 of the patients in Germany are suffering not only from diarrhea and cramps but have also developed a life-threatening complication that can cause kidney failure, and require round-the-clock medical care.

The small bit of good news is that the overwhelming need for blood plasma has resulted in a rise in blood donations by 14.5 percent, preventing hospitals from experiencing a shortage.

77% of the patients are said to be women (women love sprouts?), with the majority being between 20 and 60 years old. Most of patients were previously healthy and active, making the outbreak that much more bewildering to those experiencing and treating these cases:

"Our staffers are used to seeing very severe cases," said Grieve. "But to see those young, healthy girls break down from one day to the next, getting cramps and slipping into coma - that's been the most stressful thing ever."

Hospitals reach limits in E.coli crisis [AP]