OK officials don’t know source of rare E. coli strain

Source of Article:  http://www.watertechonline.com/news.asp?N_ID=71732


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK — An April 9 Oklahoma Health Department report leaves open the possibility that the E. coli outbreak that killed one man and sickened hundreds of others last August in Locust Grove, OK, may have come from a water well, according to an April 9 Associated Press (AP) report.


The report said analysis suggests there was ongoing foodborne transmission of the bacteria at the Country Cottage restaurant in Locust Grove from August 15 to August 24; however, because no specimen of the bacteria was found in the restaurant, investigators could not determine how it was introduced or spread, AP reported.


State Epidemiologist Dr. Kristy Bradley acknowledged that she wished the source of the rare E. coli strain O111 had been found, adding “it will have to remain a mystery.” Other strains of the bacteria were found in the Country Cottage’s private well water.


Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson previously said that the tainted well water may have been to blame for the outbreak, and has alleged that chicken waste polluted water supplies in the region, as WaterTech Online® reported.


According to the AP report, Edmondson has said the Health Department “botched” the probe and he is pursuing a lawsuit against Arkansas poultry companies.


To read the full report, click here.


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