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Oklahoma River's coliform level rose for race


Gazette staff June 4th, 2009

Remember a few weeks ago when Chicken-Fried News, concerned only for the welfare of this fair city, reported on high fecal coliform levels in the Oklahoma River? Well, considering the reports of...

cfn3122_fecal-copy

Remember a few weeks ago when Chicken-Fried News, concerned only for the welfare of this fair city, reported on high fecal coliform levels in the Oklahoma River? Well, considering the reports of illness after the race, it now seems we're poo prophets (see, Mom, told you we'd be special!).

According to a story by The Associated Press, 33 people got sick after a triathlon that included a river swim.

Those illin' reportedly experienced the Big D (diarrhea), hurling, stomach cramping and fever. (Those symptoms sound like a prescription drug ad.)

The Oklahoma Health Department conducted a survey of the 367 people who participated in the May 16-17 Boathouse International Triathlon. Of those, about 200 responded to the survey and 33 said they were sick after the swim, including Boston triathlete Jenna Shoemaker, who placed second in the event.

Water samples taken before the race showed high levels of the fecal baddies, but Mike Knopp, executive director of Chesapeake Boathouse, which sponsored the race, said the bacteria levels seemed to be dropping prior to the event.

Debbie Ragan, spokeswoman for the city's utilities department, said samples had an E. coli count of 573 per 100 milliliters of H2O. The standard, she said, is 126. E. coli is a form of fecal coliform, which is an umbrella term for bacteria that lives in the intestines of animals like cows, dogs and humans.

So, CFN readers, take heed. We're not yet sure if we'll be using our new prophetic power for good or evil (we have a "Good or Evil?" brainstorming meeting set for next week), so you'd best stay on our good side.

 
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