Fourteen people have contracted E Coli from the same lake in Nevada County.
Planning a relaxing trip to the lake with family turned into a nightmare for some in Nevada County, California. A pregnant woman and her son visited Wildwood lake for a frolic in the water by the club house. However, after a pleasant day of splashing and swimming, fourteen people, eleven of which were children, found themselves with severe stomach discomfort.
Fever, bloody diarrhea, stomach pain, nausea, and c accompany the strain of E coli bacteria. The problem with E coli is it can be so severe as to cause damage to the kidneys.
Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS) is a possible condition caused by the infection. If a person gets E coli, toxins will release into the bloodstream. These toxins kill red blood cells and block the kidney’s filtration system.
Kidney failure can ultimately result. Even if a transplant is available, once the kidneys have been damaged, constant check-ups are needed. Additionally, the potential for kidney failure throughout life becomes a real threat.
Among the fourteen people with the strain, three children are in the hospital and treatment for more dangerous reactions apply. One child had several transplants. After his release for the rest of his life, he will have to guard his kidneys.
Wildwood is a private community.
Many residents purchase the property because of easy access to the lake and water activities. The home owner’s association has a responsibility to make sure the lake stays clean. Periodic checking of the water is part of every municipal maintenance schedule.
Following this most recent outbreak, Nevada County Health Department and Public Water Works analyzed the water and their equipment. They insist their findings are clean and look for other possible causes.
Inspection of eight different locations connected to the lake is continuing. Everyone is trying desperately to figure out the cause of the outbreak. Meanwhile, access to the lake is closed to residents and all visitors.
Considering there is a great deal of wild life in the area, it is possible fecal matter from birds, deer, turkeys, and other animals may be infecting the water. While microbiology has detected natural and healthy amounts of bacteria in the intestinal tract of mammals, an imbalance will cause the bacteria to multiply causing illness.
Authorities test the water for chemicals that would cause the bacteria.
Testing shows chemical levels more than double the acceptable amount of fecal coli-forms were present. Neither the gated community association nor the County Public Health Department will admit to any wrongdoing. They both insist the water was clean when they tested it.
None of this matters to the children suffering in the hospital. Even under current treatment, the risk of further complications is present.