August 8, 2022

Swimming Pool E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak in PA in 2021; 15 Sick

A swimming pool E. coli O157:H7 outbreak in Pennsylvania in June 2021 sickened 15 children, according to the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The patients were ages 4 to 14; all swam at the pool on May 31, 2021, the opening date, and had no other known common exposure. On June 7, 2021, the Pennsylvania Department of Health received multiple reports of gastrointestinal illness from patrons of a community swimming pool. Two people reported positive Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) and Clostridioides difficile tests from stool specimens. The government ordered the pool closed, and initiated an outbreak response. Confirmed cases were defined as isolation of E. coli O157:H7 or detection of Shiga toxin or Shiga toxin genes from stool specimens of persons who … [Read more...]

Prevent Recreational Water Illnesses this Summer

The Minnesota Department of Health is warning people to take steps to prevent illnesses caused by recreational water this summer. People swimming in contaminated water can and have become ill from  Cryptosporidium, E. coli O157:H7, norovirus, Shigella, and Giardia. When people are sick with a diarrheal illness, just a tiny speck of feces can contain millions of germs and contaminate a pool. Chlorine unfortunately is not a foolproof method of killing these parasites and bacteria. Last year, there were a record number of 11 recreational waterborne outbreaks in Minnesota, resulting in almost 200 documented illnesses. All but one of those outbreaks occurred in treated water. In addition, there were two outbreaks linked to splash pads for the first time last year. Even though there is no … [Read more...]

Poop in Pools

A CDC study released last week found that feces are often introduced into public pool waters by swimmers. Scientists found E. coli bacteria in samples of pool filter water collected from public pools around the country. The study is presented in recognition of recreational Water Illness and Injury Prevention Week, May 20-26, 2013. The goal of this week is to raise awareness about healthy swimming. The study found that "58% ofthe pool water samples tested were positive for E. coli, bacteria normally found in the human gut and feces. The E. coli is a marker for fecal contamination." This happens because swimmers have a "fecal incident" in the water or they don't shower before getting into the pool. On the plus side, none of the samples tested positive for E. coli O157:H7, the most … [Read more...]

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