Coli Outbreak Sickens More Than 500 at Tennessee Zipline Center

Health officials: 548 sick after Gatlinburg zipline visit; E. coli possible

Nearly 550 sickened by E. coli in visits to Gatlinburg zipline park. How did it happen? | Lexington Herald Leader

More than 500 people have been infected with E. coli bacteria at a Tennessee zip line attraction, the Tennessee Department of Health said.

More than 500 people reported to have experienced gastrointestinal illness after visiting CLIMB Works in Gatlinburg.

"CLIMB Works Zipline Canopy Tour has fully cooperated with public health officials and has taken appropriate steps to remediate immediate health concerns", the Health Department said.

Health officials are warning tourists about the discovery of E. coli at a popular attraction in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

Gail Harmon, the regional assistant director with the health department, said they surveyed 2,901 people who visited the zip line attraction.

"We worry something might have contaminated the water during the dates of your visit", the company wrote.

That water from the Climb Works well has been sent to the state's main lab in Nashville for further testing, to determine the strain of E. coli that was in the water. A day after, she started feeling sick, as well as her two children, ages 9 and 11 years.

"Vomiting, diarrhea, tiredness - awful sickness", Oney told WVLT-TV. "I was on my death bed".

CLIMB Works Smokey Mountains responded to Oney in the comments section of her Facebook post and encouraged the group to reach out to the facility so they can "help the situation". One said 10 of the 12 people in the group could not get out of the bed while several others made a decision to get medical attention from the emergency room.

The survey found that the common denominator among all of those ill persons was the drinking water provided by Climb Works.

CLIMB Works said it immediately switched to bottled water and will have a purification system installed Tuesday in hopes of preventing future illness, and that it's raising the well system 18 inches to prevent any seepage.

"The Tennessee Department of Health learned of multiple ill groups who visited the facility from patron complaints".

"We did contact the Health Department to try to pinpoint if it was water contamination or the contagious stomach bug that has been affecting the area this summer", CLIMB Works wrote. The park is offering refunds for anyone affected with any illness.

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