HEALTH

Several cases of E. coli reported in Utah County

Aug 4, 2023, 5:04 PM | Updated: Oct 17, 2023, 9:25 am

E. Coli in Utah County...

Eight cases of E. coli have been reported in Utah County in the past two weeks. At least five people have been hospitalized. (E. Coli. Getty Images)

(E. Coli. Getty Images)

PROVO, Utah — Eight cases of E. coli were reported in Utah County in the past two weeks. The Utah County Health Department said each case has been either a Lehi resident or someone with ties to Lehi. At least five people have been hospitalized.

According to a press release, epidemiologists are working to track the source of the E. coli, but they believe the source is likely pressurized irrigation water used for drinking and play.

Pressurized irrigation water is that which comes from a hose or sprinkler. It is untreated and can contain harmful contaminants such as E. coli, according to the press release.

“If you’ve been playing in, or heaven forbid, drinking the pressurized irrigation water in Lehi, you need to be fairly cognisant and aware that this strain of E. coli could potentially be lethal for small children,” Utah County Commissioner Amelia Powers Gardner said. “And, it’s no cakewalk for anybody else.”

According to Gardner, the cases in Utah County are primarily people younger than 15.

Avoid pressurized irrigation water

Gardner said the best approach to the situation is to avoid the pressurized irrigation water altogether.

“Obviously, don’t drink it. Don’t even run through the sprinklers, use it for a slip-n-slide … (or) fill a kiddy pool with it,” she said. “Really, that water is for watering your lawn … Even if you’re out gardening, or if you come in contact with it, make sure you have really good handwashing procedures.”

Signs of E. coli include bloody diarrhea, persistent diarrhea, fever, nausea, and vomiting. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, contact your doctor.

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Several cases of E. coli reported in Utah County