December 2, 2016

Health Officials Probe Illnesses in Pike County, Ohio

Woman Stomach AchePike County Health officials in Ohio are investigating a cluster of reported illnesses. Those sickened have reported symptoms including, nausea. vomiting, fever and diarrhea, according to the Pike County Health District, which has been gathered information from more than 200 people.

The symptoms are consistent with food poisoning symptoms caused by bacteria or parasites, but health officials have not yet determined the source of the illnesses. The only commonality is that those sickened visited Long’s Retreat Family Resort before they became ill, health officials said in a press statement.

“We are exploring all avenues including but not limited to: water sources leading into the lake at Long’s Retreat, the lake itself, and possible food sources from restaurants, concessions or camping sites,” Pike County health officials said in a July 14 statement. The agency, which is working with the city of Portsmouth and Scioto County health departments on the investigation, has been releasing daily updates encouraging anyone who visited the park since July 1, to contact them.

Long’s Resort posted information on Facebook saying the Ohio Department of Agriculture tests the water for E. coli each week and that all results have been within acceptable range. Heath officials have not disclosed whether anyone has tested positive for Salmonella or other bacterial infections. Or, if a parasite such as cryptosporidium or cyclospora may be the culprit.

Foodborne illnesses are transmitted vis the fecal-oral route meaning food or water that is contaminated with feces is ingested. This can happen if water is swallowed while swimming, or if someone who is sick does not wash hands properly and then handles food or food preparation areas.  To prevent the spread of illness, people who have diarrhea should not prepare food for others or go swimming until that symptom has been resolved for three days, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

 

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