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Utah County Health Department announces E. Coli outbreak from irrigation water



Guidelines to prevent further E. coli outbreak in Utah County

The following are excerpts from the included press release provide by the Utah County Health Department:

“In the last two weeks, eight cases of E. coli were reported in Utah County residents, with two of those cases confirmed as E. coli 0157:H7. Currently, all reported cases are residents of Lehi City or have close ties. At least five of the individuals have been hospitalized due to the severity of symptoms.”

“Epidemiologists are working to identify the source of infection. Preliminary investigation links the likely source of spread to using pressurized irrigation water for drinking and play.”

“Drinking and/or playing in irrigation water could pose a risk to you, your children, and pets. Pressurized irrigation water is untreated and can contain harmful contaminants like E. coli. It is important that the public take steps to reduce the risk of infection for themselves and family members:

• INDIVIDUALS SHOULD NOT DRINK IRRIGATION WATER – especially if you do not know if your water source is culinary/potable or a secondary water source, such as landscape or garden irrigation. Contact your local City Public Works office with any questions about a city’s water source.
• INDIVIDUALS SHOULD NOT USE IRRIGATION WATER FOR PLAY – such as slip-and-slides, inflatable bounce houses, kiddie pools, sprinklers, etc.”

If you see or notice any of the following symptoms, contact a Healthcare Provider:
• Bloody diarrhea
• Persistent diarrhea
• Fever
• Nausea
• Vomiting


E. coli can be transmitted from person to person. Good handwashing and hygiene are necessary to prevent the spread. If you have questions about watering your garden or consuming produce from your garden, please visit this article from USU Extension.
For questions concerning E. coli infections, please contact a healthcare provider. Questions should be directed to the Utah County Health Department.

NOTE- Pressurized irrigation water is not connected to the City culinary drinking water system