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Tag Archive | "E. coli"

Presenter collects E-coli data from Rogue River 


 

Molly Rippke, Aquatic Biologist Specialist, DEQ, testing for E.coli in the Rogue River, at 12 Mile Road. Photo courtesy of Gretchen Zuiderveen, Rogue River Watershed Partners.

This summer, Molly Rippke, on behalf of the DEQ, is determining what the E-coli levels are in the Rogue River.

The Rogue River Watershed Partners sponsored one of their “Tuesday Talks” at the Cedar Spring Brewery this year on March 27. Rippke, an Aquatic Biologist Specialist with the Department of Environmental Quality, gave a memorable talk and power point presentation about E.coli. She focused on answering these four questions:  What is E-coli? How does it get into rivers? Why should we care? What can we do about it? 

Once a week, for five consecutive weeks, Molly Rippke, with the help of an intern, is testing the Rogue at the same seven locations, starting at 22 Mile Road and ending at Twelve Mile Road. They deliver the samples collected at each site to a laboratory in Lansing that same day. In addition, the team measures the dissolved oxygen content at these sites, a measure of special interest to those who fish the Rogue.

The DEQ does similar monitoring on the rivers in Michigan as a matter of routine every five years but this is the first time E.coli has been measured on this scale in the Rogue River.  Testing is done in order to evaluate whether the bacterial level in the river is safe for partial or full-body contact. Because human health is the priority, the DEQ  responds to reports from the public that question the safely of a river’s E-coli levels, regardless of the five year schedule.

 E.coli (short for Escherichia coli) comes from the feces of warm-blooded animals, and is a common problem in rivers. E-coli enters rivers through pasture runoff, illicit sanitary connections, failing septic systems, urban run-off, and manure land-applications in agricultural areas. 

If you’d like to learn more about E-coli, go to this website:  www.mi.gov/waterquality.gov, and click on surface waters.

The testing phase is not finished yet, so the results are not available.

However, the RRWP plans to post the resulting data when it become available, at their website: rogueriverwp.org. 

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E. coli O157 illnesses likely related to ground beef


N-e-coliThe Michigan Departments of Community Health (MDCH) and Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) along with local health departments in Kent, Livingston, Oakland, Ottawa, and Washtenaw counties are investigating a cluster of recent illnesses due to the bacteria E. coli O157.

Five confirmed Shiga-toxin producing E. coli O157 illnesses have been reported in adults between 20-41 years of age, with symptom onset dates from April 22-May 1. Three individuals have been hospitalized. None of the ill individuals have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a severe complication of E. coli O157 infection, and no deaths have been reported.

Laboratory results suggest these illnesses are linked to a common source. The investigation is ongoing, and preliminary information collected from ill persons indicates that ground beef is most likely the source. Ill individuals ate undercooked ground beef at several different restaurants in multiple locations. MDARD is working with local health departments and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to determine the source of the ground beef and how widely it was distributed.

E. coli O157 illnesses can be very serious or life-threatening, especially for young children, older adults, and people who are immuno-compromised,” said Dr. Matthew Davis, Chief Medical Executive at the MDCH. “Whether you cook at home or order in a restaurant, ground meats, including ground beef, should always be cooked thoroughly to the proper temperature.”

They recommend cooking it to 160 degrees, and checking it with a food thermometer that measures the internal temperature.

Some kinds of E. coli cause disease by making a toxin called Shiga toxin. A gastrointestinal infection caused by Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O157 can cause diarrhea (often bloody) and abdominal cramps three to four days after exposure (incubation range 2-10 days). Most people get better within five to seven days, but the elderly, infants, and those with weak immune systems are more likely to develop severe or even life-threatening illness, such as hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). Persons who are ill with these symptoms and have consumed ground beef recently should consult with their medical provider and ask about being tested for an E. coli infection.

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