HEALTH

Now 12 cases of E. coli furthers Lehi investigation

Aug 20, 2023, 1:04 PM | Updated: Aug 21, 2023, 6:54 pm

UPDATE: This article was previously published with the advisory to avoid watering lawns or using irrigation water. It has since been updated to advise not to use irrigation water to water lawns or gardens at all.


LEHI, Utah — The number of confirmed E. coli cases in Utah County over the past two weeks has risen to 12. The bacteria has been found in irrigation systems and reservoirs in the area, and the city’s investigation is ongoing — now involving the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

On Monday, Aug. 14, samples were collected from nine pressurized irrigation water sources and a nearby reservoir. Testing showed that five of the nine irrigation water sites contained the E. coli bacteria and it was found in the sediment of the reservoir.

E. coli water advisory sign in Lehi, Utah. (KSL TV)

Initial cases of E. coli were reported at eight, with five hospitalizations including a 3-year-old girl, Avery Allen.

Allen spent 13 days in the hospital after testing positive for E. coli. During her stay, she was on a feeding tube, undergoing dialysis and several blood transfusions.

3-year-old Allen is home now, but her kidneys are only functioning at 30%. Doctors said that it may take up to a year to see if the damage to her kidneys is permanent.

“It’s hard because she’s so young. You don’t expect a 3-year-old to have to endure something like this. So it’s really, really hard,” said her grandmother, Jennifer Reed.

Because of the increased danger found in the area, the city and the CDC advise residents of Utah County to adhere to the following important guidelines:

  • Do not drink irrigation water.
  • Do not water lawns or gardens.
  • Do not use irrigation water in recreational activities. (bounce houses, pools, slip-n-slides, or any other recreational activities)
  • Check for water advisory signs before swimming in nearby reservoirs.
  • Use caution when allowing children to play on lawns or gardens that have been watered with irrigation water. It’s advised to watch the children to be sure their hands that might have touched lawns do not go in their mouths.
  • Children should wash hands after playing outside. E. coli can still be present when the lawn isn’t wet.
  • When tending to lawns or gardens, wear gloves and practice hand hygiene.
  • Exercise caution when consuming uncooked produce from personal gardens that have been watered using irrigation water. Fruits and vegetables like these should be consumed only after being cooked. Simply washing may not eliminate the bacteria.

Signs of E. coli infection include diarrhea (often bloody), abdominal cramps, nausea, and vomiting. Severe cases can lead to kidney failure, especially among young children, the elderly, and individuals with compromised immune systems. It is advised to contact a health care provider if experiencing any of the above symptoms.

KSL 5 TV Live

Health

FILE - Comirnaty, a new Pfizer/BioNTech vaccination booster for COVID-19, is displayed at a pharmac...

Jen Christensen, CNN

The FDA tells COVID-19 vaccine makers to update shot to target newest variant

The US Food and Drug Administration announced Friday that it had advised the makers of the Covid-19 vaccines to formulate their new shots to be a better match for the JN.1 lineage of the coronavirus.

5 days ago

FILE — City Creek Canyon. (KSLTV)...

Emma Benson

SLC officials urge public safety in City Creek Canyon amid construction

If you're planning on heading to City Creek Canyon to get out of the heat, officials are urging you to be cautious.

5 days ago

Sugar-free gum is only one of many consumer products and foods that contain xylitol, experts say. (...

Sandee LaMotte, CNN

Common low-calorie sweetener linked to heart attack and stroke, study finds

A low-calorie sweetener called xylitol used in many reduced-sugar foods and consumer products such as gum and toothpaste may be linked to nearly twice the risk of heart attacks, stroke and death in people who consume the highest levels of the sweetener, a new study found.

6 days ago

Washington City Fire Department and Police Department rescued two dogs locked in a park bathroom Th...

Carlysle Price

Two dogs rescued from bathroom, keeping pets safe this summer

Two dogs were locked in a park restroom, according to Washington City Fire Department. Here are some ways to keep your pet safe this summer.

6 days ago

ARUP Blood Services employees said they've seen positive trends in the last year since FDA guidance...

Shelby Lofton

ARUP blood services said updated donation guidelines help donors and patients

ARUP Blood Services employees said they've seen positive trends in the last year since FDA guidance was updated.

6 days ago

Kenneth Applegate was diagnosed with high blood pressure. (Courtesy: Kenneth Applegate)...

Emma Benson

Utah dad’s journey from hypertension to health

At age 25, Applegate was diagnosed with high blood pressure. At first, he didn't think it was a big deal, until things became more serious.

6 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light up your home with these top lighting trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for hassle-free computer repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Now 12 cases of E. coli furthers Lehi investigation