Brynn Galindo of KGET Reported – Health Department identifies E. coli source

Bakersfield’s recent E. coli began at a backyard waterslide, the health department has announced. Health Director Dr. B.A. Jinadu emphasized there is no continuing danger to anyone who has not yet become sick.

“After a thorough investigation the Department of Public Health has identified that initial exposure occurred on April 26 at a water slide event, a known source of E. coli exposure in such a situation,” according to a news release from the Health Department. “This started the chain of an infectious process which stretched from April 26 or May 4, where some of the cases became ill following these events. “Another significant event occurred on April 29, during which the same social circle attended that event. This proves to be an event point for secondary infection. The evidence also supports that the two patients that showed symptoms on April 27, a day following the waterslide event appeared to have been exposed at an earlier date and were infectious at the time of that event,” the news release said.  Full Press Release From Kern County Here

Water is an easy way for microbes to get around – see the following cases:

Seneca Lake State Park Spraypark Cryptosporidium Litigation

During June, July, and August 2005, nearly 4,000 people became ill with Cryptosporidiosis after visiting the spraypark at Seneca Lake State Park in New York. The New York State Health Department determined that the spraypark’s holding tanks were contaminated with Cryptosporidium, a parasite that causes gastrointestinal illness in humans, when ingested.

Marler Clark filed a class action lawsuit against the New York Office of State Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation in September 2005. The class action was certified in July of 2006, and the court is considering a motion asking that the State of New York provide notice of a potential claim to all persons exposed to Cryptosporidium at Seneca Lake State Park who reported their illness to the state health department.

Atlanta White Water Waterpark E. coli O157:H7 Litigation

In the summer of 1998, 26 children became ill from E. coli O157:H7 contracted while playing in the kiddie pool at White Water Park, a commercial water park in suburban Atlanta. Seven of those children were hospitalized and a 2-year-old boy died from Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome, a kidney disorder caused by E. coli O157:H7. Operators of the pool initially denied responsibility for the E. coli outbreak, but investigators determined that the chlorine level in the pool was well below the local health standard on the days when the water was contaminated, greatly increasing the risk of infection.

Marler Clark represented most of the victims and their families, eventually obtaining multi million dollar settlements. The incident increased national awareness of the hazards of water contamination, prompting the industry to pay closer attention to pool cleaning and chlorine.