EPA warns about fecal coliform in flooded areas of Coffeyville

Two flood water samples taken by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency within the city limits of Coffeyville, Kan., showed numbers of fecal coliform (bacteria) more than 130 times the standard.

If citizens come into contact with flood water, bacteria in the water can cause symptoms such as stomachache, fever, vomiting, and diarrhea. Persons exposed to fecal coliform can become ill if they have an open cut, wound, or scrape that comes into contact with contaminated water.

Symptoms include fever, redness, and swelling at the site of an open wound. If these symptoms occur, a doctor should be consulted.

EPA and Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) advise citizens to avoid direct contact with standing water when possible. If contact with contaminated water is made, citizens should apply soap and water to clean exposed areas.

For more information about health issues, please contact ATSDR at (800) 223-0425 or your county health department.

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