Saturday, 21 July, 2018

Coli outbreak sickens 550 zip line riders in Tennessee

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
Celia Hoffman | 14 July, 2018, 00:47

Officials have said E. coli bacteria caused the sickness, but the Health Department said Thursday that some people who visited the facility in Gatlinburg since June 15 have tested positive for norovirus.

After almost 550 people reported becoming ill after visiting a Gatlinburg zipline and mountain park, a Tennessee Department of Health investigation has determined the sickness was caused by contaminated water, according to media reports.

Of the 808 responses, Harmon said 505 people said they had parties varying in size from two to 30 people, but the surveys did ask how many in the party became sick.

Writing a review on the park's Facebook page, Emily Oney said she toured CLIMB's Works on June 7.

The Tennessee Department of Health sent more than 2,000 surveys to those who reserved tours online, to determine if they became sick after visiting.

The Knoxville-based television station reports that the owner of CLIMB Works said he was surprised to hear that more than 500 cases had been reported, saying he knew about around 100 cases.

"We worry something might have contaminated the water during the dates of your visit", the company wrote.

More news: $4.69 Billion Verdict Pounds Johnson & Johnson in 22-Plaintiff, Talc-Cancer Trial

The Tennessee Department of Health reported the facility was closed and has resumed operations after ongoing consultation from public health officials.

"Vomiting, diarrhea, tiredness - bad sickness", she told WVLT's Robert Grant.

CLIMB Works Smokey Mountains responded to Oney in the comments section of her Facebook post and encouraged the group to reach out to the facility so they can "help the situation". One person said 10 of the 12 people in their group were even bedridden, and several com-mentors said they had become so sick they took trips to the emergency room.

CLIMB Works told WVLT-TV that it started serving bottled water at the suggestion of the state health department. "CLIMB Works should make this right with all the families that were affected by this".

Management is working to fix the drinking water by installing a new filtration system.

"We did contact the Health Department to try to pinpoint if it was water contamination or the contagious stomach bug that has been affecting the area this summer", CLIMB Works wrote.

They are offering refunds for anyone who became ill.

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