Munich Christmas markets shut due to suspicious growth of E. coli bacteria

Christmas markets in Munich have been scrapped due to the sudden release of a strain of bacteria at one of its facilities, officials said.

Government officials confirmed the city’s 18 small wooden markets were closed on Sunday due to E. coli, and that Tuesday’s markets were canceled as well. There is currently no evidence of wider effects of the bacteria.

The closures affect 18 small, wooden markets across the city and four larger ones.

Officials added that 18 people who had visited the market and shown symptoms of E. coli were treated in Munich hospitals and that no deaths had been reported.

Officials have not yet ruled out that the bacteria is the same strain that made 150 people in Hamburg sick with potentially fatal kidney failure this week.

“That part of the virus seems to be a little bit more intense and rampant at the moment than normal,” Dr. Philipp Rauhut told Sky News.

“All the other (recent) outbreaks from the same virus have been from persons who have had seasonal contact with poultry and raw vegetables and not really from solid food.”

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