USA – Disease hits Petersburg after problems with water tower -Campylobacter

Central News

The village of Petersburg is recovering from a suspected outbreak of a unique disease after problems with its water tower.

“I’m not a conspiracy guy, I don’t think anyone’s doing anything intentionally,” said Ted Thieman of Petersburg. He is one of more than 40 people in central Nebraska’s city of Petersburg who had caught a campylobacter illness as winter approached. “I came down with what was like flu symptoms, diarrhea, and so forth,” he said. The state had only ever had one ever case of campylobacter before this outbreak. 
When Ted Thieman got sick, Mary Thieman told him to test himself for campylobacter, as she had seen many others get sick. She even started taking stool samples and testing the water for contamination. 

“I’m the poop driver, taking samples back and forth. The more evidence we have, the more we can make our case,” said Mary Thieman.

The investigation into the disease’s origins and Petersburg’s water began around August.

The CDC’s Division of Foodborne, Waterborne, and Environmental Diseases explained the issue further in an email to NCN, December 30th:

“Starting in September, CDC has supported state and local health authorities with a Campylobacter outbreak in Petersburg associated with the municipal drinking water system. Water testing from the system identified molecular evidence of bird feces in the same drinking water sample as Campylobacter spp. DNA and culturable coliforms, suggesting bird fecal contamination of the water system led to the outbreak,” they stated. “The state water authority is responding to these results by requiring a thorough inspection of the water tower.”

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