More than 500 sickened at Tennessee zipline destination

Tennessee health officials said they're unsure what caused more than 500 people to get sick at a zipline facility, but water tests there showed fecal contamination. File Photo courtesy of CLIMB Works Zipline Canopy Tour

July 13 (UPI) — Health officials in Tennessee said they’re attempting to determine what sickened more than 500 people who complained of gastrointestinal illnesses after visiting a zipline destination.

The Tennessee Department of Health said Tuesday that some of the sickened tested positive for norovirus and one tested positive for both norovirus and enteropathogenic E. coli. All were sickened since June 15 and had visited the CLIMB Works Zipline Canopy Tour in Gatlinburg.

“At this time we cannot point to one simple cause of this outbreak,” TDH Deputy State Epidemiologist John Dunn said.

The agency said preliminary tests indicate fecal contamination in the water system at the zipline facility may be to blame. But there could be other causes for the illnesses, including contaminated surfaces and person-to-person transmission.

Norovirus is a gastrointestinal virus that shows signs of nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, and it can last one to two days. Enteropathogenic E. coli can last up to several days and causes watery diarrhea.


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