E. Coli Outbreak Among Texas Pizza Restaurant Patrons Possibly Linked to Sewage Spill

Officials in Texas are trying to determine how well water at <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/topics/overview/Fralos-Art-Leon-Springs-TX-E-Coli">Fralo’s Art of Pizza in Leon Springs became contaminated with E. coli. At least 24 patrons of the popular restaurant are known to have become ill.

Fralo’s customers began reporting illnesses on August 16. The restaurant was shut down after well water there tested positive for E. coli and reopened August 23.

The Fralo’s E. coli outbreak coincided with a 400,000-gallon sewage spill at the San Antonio Water System lift system at Boerne Stage Road, right across the street from the restaurant. The spill was discovered on Wednesday, August 18. However, officials believe that the size of the spill indicates it had been ongoing for several days. Following the discovery of the sewage spill, the San Antonio Water System informed about 30 to 40 business and homeowners in the area.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has since taken over the investigation into how sewage found its way into the water well.

Because Fralo’s Art of Pizza relies on a well for its water, it is required to have its water tested once a month. However, the owner of the restaurant told MySanAntonio.com that his last test was in March 2010, after Metro Health told him the tests were no longer needed.

It is a known fact that most instances of food borne illness, including E. coli, are never reported to health authorities. As a result, it is entirely possible that more illnesses occurred during this E. coli outbreak than the 24 so far reported.

The US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that every year at least 2000 Americans are hospitalized, and about 60 die as a direct result of E. coli infection and its complications. Symptoms of infection may include severe and often bloody diarrhea, abdominal pain and vomiting. Often, little or no fever is present. Most healthy adults recover within a week. Young children and the elderly are at higher risk for developing Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS) as a result of the infection. HUS can lead to serious kidney damage and death.

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