updated 8/27/2004 2:23:30 PM ET 2004-08-27T18:23:30

Investigators searching for the source of an outbreak that sickened hundreds of travelers on a Lake Erie resort island are focusing on drinking water.

  1. Don't miss these Health stories
    1. Splash News
      More women opting for preventive mastectomy - but should they be?

      Rates of women who are opting for preventive mastectomies, such as Angeline Jolie, have increased by an estimated 50 percent in recent years, experts say. But many doctors are puzzled because the operation doesn't carry a 100 percent guarantee, it's major surgery -- and women have other options, from a once-a-day pill to careful monitoring.

    2. Larry Page's damaged vocal cords: Treatment comes with trade-offs
    3. Report questioning salt guidelines riles heart experts
    4. CDC: 2012 was deadliest year for West Nile in US
    5. What stresses moms most? Themselves, survey says

State environmental officials on Thursday ordered inspections of private wells to determine if they have been contaminated or have played a role in contaminating the village of Put-in-Bay’s water system.

Heidi Griesmer, a state Environmental Protection Agency spokeswoman, said the order was precautionary: “We don’t know if there’s contamination being introduced somewhere in the distribution system,” she said.

Some island residents use private wells to supplement water they receive from the village, and the plumbing of both water sources in some cases is connected.

Officials theorize that leaking septic tanks may have contaminated some private wells, in turn possibly also contaminating the public water system.

Mayor Mack McCann has said the village’s water system has been tested regularly with no negative results.

State health officials have interviewed 1,020 people who fell ill in recent weeks with chills, fever, diarrhea and vomiting after visiting the village on South Bass Island or surrounding areas.

Eighteen people tested positive for bacterial or viral infections.

Businesses on the island have taken a hit. The quaint popular summer getaway about halfway between Toledo and Cleveland is filled with bars, restaurants and charming inns.

© 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Discussion comments


Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments