Dirty Public Pool Spreads
Deadly E.coli To Six
Small Children
By June Preston
ATLANTA (Reuters) - A contaminated paddling pool at a suburban Atlanta water park was blamed Tuesday for an outbreak of E.coli infection that has hospitalized at least eight young children in three states.
``It appears it was transmitted through contaminated water,'' Georgia Public Health Director Kathleen Toomey told a news conference. ``A child may have been infected and had an accident in the pool.''
Toomey said the outbreak was traced to a recreation park in Marietta, Georgia, 15 miles (24 km) north of Atlanta. Four of the hospitalized children suffered kidney failure, and two remained in critical condition Tuesday. Toomey said five children hospitalized in Georgia were at the park on June 11 or 12, as were two children from Tennessee and one from South Carolina also diagnosed with E.coli infection. A sixth Georgia case appeared unrelated. She said all of the E.coli cases tied to the park were among children 6 years old or younger.
One of the children who suffered kidney failure was 3-year-old Brody Weiss, the son of Atlanta Braves shortstop Walt Weiss. He was in serious condition Tuesday at Scottish Rite Children's Hospital and was being treated with dialysis, a respirator and blood transfusions.
Weiss said his son initially appeared to have some kind of bug ``but blood started showing up in his bowel movements and by Thursday he was just passing pure blood from his bowels.'' E.coli bacteria are killed by chlorine, and Toomey said experts believed the pool may not have received adequate chlorine treatment.
She said an incontinent youngster could have spread E.coli bacteria in the pool. ``It is important to tell your child not to go to the bathroom in a pool,'' Toomey said. ``And more important, if your child has a diarrheal condition, do not take them to a water park.'' ^REUTERS@

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