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One of the mysteries about the outbreak of the particularly vicious strain of E. coli is that most of the victims have been women.
Scientists simply do not know why. One theory was that the victims were often people who liked eating what they thought was healthy food, say because it was low calorie (like cucumbers) or because it was organic. But the scientists are now cautioning against that view. It may be too pat.
Intriguingly, a previous outbreak of this rare type of E. coli happened in the United States in 1994 - and again the victims were predominantly women, with the average victim being 36 years of age.
Pregnancy and the early postpartum (after delivery) time period and the use of birth control pills are the more common associations with HUS