Foodborne Illness Outbreak Database

This database provides summaries of significant food and water related outbreaks occurring since 1984 caused by E. coli, Salmonella, Hepatitis A, Campylobacter and other pathogens. Read more »

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Cowans Gap State Park Lake Water 2011

On August 10, the Cowans Gap State Park, Pennsylvania, was closed to recreational water activities because of an outbreak of E. coli O157:H7. Sixty one percent of the cases were less than ten years of age. Four cases were from Maryland and 38 cases were from central Pennsylvania. All had swum in the lake between July 12 and August 1. On August 17, it was revealed that E. coli bacteria was discovered in the potable water supply before the water reached the chlorine treatment plant; the E. coli found was not O157:H7. Prior to the realization that an outbreak was underway, the lake had briefly been closed to swimmers following a high E. coli reading on July 17; the lake was reopened a day later when the recorded level dropped to within acceptable limits. The cause of the lake water contamination was not determined, however a Pennsylvania Health Department report suggested a swimmer likely contaminated the lake water while ill.

  • Outbreak began:
  • July 2011
  • Affected Country:
  • US
  • Affected States/Territories:
  • Maryland, Pennsylvania
  • Organism(s):
  • E. coli O157:H7
  • Vehicle(s):
  • Water, Recreational Water
  • Molecular Results Available:
  • Unknown
  • Test Results:
  • None
  • Location(s):
  • Park, Lake
  • Brand Name(s):
  • Product Subject to Recall:
  • No
  • Total ill:
  • 42
  • Number ill by Case Definition Known:
  • Yes
  • Number Laboratory Confirmed Cases:
  • 13
  • Number Probable Cases:
  • 5
  • Number Possible Cases:
  • 24
  • Anyone Hospitalized:
  • Yes
  • Number Hospitalized:
  • 10
  • Any Deaths:
  • Unknown
  • Number Dead:
  • Unknown

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