THURSDAY, Sept. 5 (HealthDay News) -- While U.S. water
sanitation has improved, bacteria-laden drinking water continues to
cause disease outbreaks, according to a report released Thursday by
federal health officials.
Legionella-tainted plumbing systems, untreated groundwater,
and problems with distribution systems were the three main culprits
identified in the 33 outbreaks reported to the U.S. Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention from 2009 to 2010.
In all, unsanitary drinking water was responsible for 1,040
illnesses, 85 hospitalizations and nine deaths in 17 states during
Legionellain community water systems was behind more than
half of the outbreaks, while
Campylobacterwas the second most common outbreak cause,
according to the report published in the Sept. 6 issue of CDC's
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
Legionella, which causes a severe respiratory illness known
as Legionnaires' disease, led to a greater number of outbreaks,
other types of bacteria resulted in more illnesses, including acute
gastrointestinal illness, according to the report.
States that reported drinking water-related outbreaks were
California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Maine, Maryland,
Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania,
South Carolina, Utah and Vermont.
Identifying and correcting problems with water-distribution
systems and untreated groundwater systems could prevent many
outbreaks and illnesses, while more research is needed to learn how
to better control
Legionella, the report concludes.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has more about
groundwater and drinking water.