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Pabst had to stay at the hospital for a week.
"For the first two days, I was completely exhausted, nodding off, not aware at all of what was happening around me," Pabst remembered. She was put on an intravenous drip and her doctor decided to treat her with antibiotics despite recommendations by the World Heath Organization and the German health ministry not to do so.
There have been frequent reports about German doctors treating patients with unconventional, non-approved therapies like antibody treatment or antibiotics, often simply because traditional treatments do not improve the patients' health.
Friedrich Hagenmueller, the medical director of Asklepios Hospital, treated Pabst with antibiotics early on "because what we had been doing so far in this outbreak hasn't been very successful."
"Her quick recovery has encouraged me to try out antibiotics on other incoming patients as well," Hagenmueller told the AP.
Hans-Joerg Epple, a gastroenterologist at Berlin's Benjamin-Franklin-Hospital, said while antibiotics were normally not given to E. coli patients, some experts were looking into treating the current E. coli strain with specific kinds of antibiotics.
"It is quite unusual and we don't have a lot of data on this, but there are indications that some kinds of antibiotics may be helpful here," Epple said.
Bahr, the German health minister, made a surprise visit Sunday to the University Medical Center in Hamburg-Eppendorf only hours after the AP reported on the shocking conditions there.
Pabst's recovery started 48 hours after she'd received her first dose of antibiotics, and on Wednesday she was discharged from the hospital. Her children will be allowed to go back to school now, and Pabst said she's feeling healthy again herself.
"One thing's for sure: As long as the cause of the E. coli outbreak has not been found, there'll be no more vegetables or fruit in our house," Pabst said. "We're only eating deep-frozen meals and spaghetti these days."
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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