Health Director: 'This is the beginning, it's not the end' - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Health Director: 'This is the beginning, it's not the end'

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TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -

 

Brian Biggie with Promedica tells us they had "60 people with gastoenterological problem" at Toledo Hospital this afternoon. 

That number could grow - people exhibiting the same symptoms the happen when you drink the tainted water currently flowing through Toledo's pipes.

How many of those cases - if any - are related to the water crisis is not yet known. 

 

Toledo-Lucas County Health Director Dr. David Grossman says water samples are being tested in Cincinnati and Columbus to determine if water coming from the city's water treatment plant is safe to drink. Those who get their water from the City of Toledo should not ingest water from the tap, but the water can be used for bathing and washing clothes. 

The Health Department issued an advisory warning residents not to drink the water early Saturday morning. Grossman says the Lake Erie water which feeds into the Toledo water treatment plant is regularly tested and had been tested less than 24 hours before the test which caused the alert.

Grossman says symptoms of sickness caused by this contaminated water are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and cramping. The toxin can also affect the liver, creating flu-like symptoms, according to Grossman. Grossman says hospitalization and death are extremely unlikely with this crisis.

Grossman the problem is not nearly over, but that the Health Department was prepared for the crisis.

"From my standpoint, I think we were real prepared. We issued the ingestion [warning] right away. We've mobilized any concerns there could be by notifying restaurants not to use it or not to be open. We've warned people what do to. We think we got the word out by press ‘quit drinking your water' which is the key," said Grossman.

Grossman says the level of microcystin in the water is not high enough to pose a threat when skin is exposed to water.

Grossman says the health department has to seen a major influx of patients admitted to hospitals.

"The response has been quick. It's been appropriate. We've done everything at every level we can," Grossman said.  

Grossman says anyone who used contaminated water to water a garden should not be concerned. Those vegetables are still edible, so long as they are washed with clean water once the advisory is lifted. 

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