E. Coli was found in some portions of the Wellesley College water system. Students and faculty members are advised to boil their water before using it.
On April 7, E. Coli bacteria were found in the water supply of Fiske House. The bacteria were also present in other buildings - Weston Terrace Apartments, Page School (Child Studies Center), and Wellesley Community Children's Center.
The school, along with Department of Environmental Protection, Massachusetts released a notice (PDF), advising the community to boil the water before drinking it,or better yet, use bottled water.
"The advisory was issued on the basis of routine testing of our water system, which determined that the portion of the system that reaches those four buildings has tested positive for bacterial contamination," Wellesley College said.
The notice was composed of elaborate information on what people must do to avoid being sick due to the contamination.
The school emphasized the necessary steps to get rid of the contaminated water in the area. Some information also includes what the bacteria can do to human health, as well as the contact numbers for emergency and information with regards to the water contamination.
Authorities advised the people of Wellesley College to boil their water for at least one minute, disinfect, include bleach whenever washing dishes and sterilize them after, use a sponge bath instead of using bathtubs in bathing, and use boiled water whenever brushing your teeth.
In other household activities that need clean water, such as cooking and washing of raw foods, people must use boiled or disinfected water.
Precautions are the same for the water that pets drink.
Wellesley College is already working on eliminating the bacteria in the water systems of the buildings involved. The water is safe to drink in other places in the campus that were not reported to have contamination. Luckily, dining halls and other eating areas are not affected.
Escherichia Coli bacteria can cause diarrhea, nausea, cramps and headaches. It can cause severe symptoms to those with a weak immune system, infants, children, and elderly.
There is no current treatment for illnesses caused by E.Coli, but you can address the symptoms through rest and taking lots of fluids to avoid dehydration. It is advisable not to take anti-diarrheal medication, as this can prevent the excretion of toxins out of the body.
Photo: NIAID | Flickr