Tags: zipline | tennessee | e coli

Zipline E. Coli in Tennessee Infects 500 Riders

Zipline E. Coli in Tennessee Infects 500 Riders
(Weerapat Kiatdumrong/Dreamstime)

By    |   Thursday, 12 July 2018 07:32 AM

A zipline attraction in Tennessee is being blamed for infecting more than 500 of its riders with E. coli, following an investigation by the state's health department, the Knoxville News Sentinel reported.

At least 548 visitors reported being sick after visiting CLIMB Works Zip Line Canopy Tour in Gatlinburg.

Initial tests of well water used to fill drinking containers throughout the attraction revealed E. coli bacteria, according to Gail Harmon, assistant director of the East Tennessee Region Health Department, the News Sentinel said. Well water samples were being put through advanced tests to see whether the strain of E. coli is contagious.

E. coli, or Escherichia coli, is bacteria that normally lives in the intestines of people and animals, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While most E. coli are harmless, some are pathogenic, meaning they can cause illness outside the intestinal tract.

The types of E. coli that can cause diarrhea can be transmitted through contaminated water or food, or through contact with animals or persons, the CDC said.

CLIMB Works told WVLT-TV on Monday that 80 to 100 people had called the attraction to report symptoms of gastrointestinal illness after visiting its zip line attraction in Gatlinburg.

Emily Oney said she visited the park on June 7 and became sick the following day – along with her children, ages 9 and 11, and five others.

"Vomiting, diarrhea, tiredness – terrible sickness," Oney told WVLT-TV. "I was on my death bed."

The News Sentinel said the state's health department used CLIMB Works online sales records to email 2,901 surveys asking visitors if they became ill after a trip to the attraction. The state said 548 people confirmed they had become ill.

Harmon said of the 548 people who reported illness, 505 said they were traveling as part of a group that ranged from two to 30 people. They visited the attraction from mid-June to early July.

CLIMB Works told WVLT-TV that it started serving bottled water at the suggestion of the state health department. Manager Brian Turley said a new water filtration system was installed on Tuesday.

The company said it wants to "make it right" for anyone who became sick and is offering full refunds.

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A zipline attraction in Tennessee is being blamed for infecting more than 500 of its riders with E. coli, following an investigation by the state's health department.
zipline, tennessee, e coli
372
2018-32-12
Thursday, 12 July 2018 07:32 AM
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