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Infections Linked to Swimming, Drinking Water: CDC
Date:9/22/2011

in the United States in 2007-08. The infection is caused by the freshwater ameba Naegleria fowleri. All the cases were caused by exposure to untreated warm fresh water in ponds and lakes, the agency said.

The second report said 36 waterborne disease outbreaks associated with drinking water occurred in 23 states and Puerto Rico between January 2007 and December 2008. The outbreaks caused 4,128 illnesses and three deaths.

More than half of these outbreaks were caused by untreated or inadequately treated groundwater, which suggests that groundwater contamination remains an important public health issue, the CDC said.

The outbreaks were caused by bacteria, viruses, parasites and chemicals. One-third of the drinking water-related outbreaks were caused by legionella, a bacteria that can cause severe breathing problems and is responsible for between 8,000 to 18,000 hospitalizations in the United States each year.

More information

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has more about water.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, news release, Sept. 22, 2011


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