Sunday, 23 September, 2018

Bacteria sickens more than 500 at Tennessee zipline center

Health officials: 548 sick after Gatlinburg zipline visit; E. coli possible Nearly 550 sickened by E. coli in visits to Gatlinburg zipline park. How did it happen? | Lexington Herald Leader
Samantha Long | 14 July, 2018, 00:45

Tests by the Tennessee Department of Health found that well water at a popular Gatlinburg, Tennessee outdoor attraction contained E. coli, according to WBIR.

More than 500 people reported to have experienced gastrointestinal illness after visiting CLIMB Works in Gatlinburg.

Climb Works responded that they "feel terrible if we had any part in anyone getting sick" and wanted to speak to people directly who may have gotten sick at the facility.

The survey found that the common denominator among all of those ill persons was the drinking water provided by Climb Works.

It turned out to be a risky strain of a common bacteria.

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"The facility was closed temporarily but has resumed routine operation with ongoing consultation from local public health authorities", according to the Health Department. It said they have since switched to bottled water.

John Isner can't win this epic marathon match at Wimbledon
The match has surpassed the previous record of 4 hours, 44 minutes when the score was tied 9-9 in the deciding set. Isner was trying to end the longest major title drought - 58 majors - for US men in tennis history.

The Health Department said respondents are located in multiple states and visited CLIMB Works between mid-June and early July.

The owner of the facility, Brian, said he was surprised to hear more than 500 cases had been reported --saying he knew about only 100 or so cases.

Indeed, initial laboratory test revealed the well water is positive for E. coli and coliforms.

At least 548 visitors reported being sick after visiting CLIMB Works Zip Line Canopy Tour in Gatlinburg. There is no filter that's certified to work for all E. coli strains. "Preliminary testing and environmental health assessments indicate the water system at the zipline facility may have contributed to the outbreak; however, there are likely other sources involved in the spread of the illnesses, including contaminated surfaces and person-to-person transmission".

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Escherichia coli, or E. coli, is a bacteria that can cause people to become sick through exposure to contaminated water or food. "Additional preliminary testing has identified enteropathogenic E. coli". One said 10 of the 12 people in the group could not get out of the bed while several others chose to get medical attention from the emergency room.

Still, they say it wasn't the worst trip they've had.

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