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Long Beach Boil Water Alert Lifted After Schools Close Due To E. Coli Scare

Long Beach
Long Beach Photo Credit: Christopher Michel via Wikimedia Commons

The boil-water order for the City of Long Beach has been lifted after an E. coli scare.

On Friday, June 21, the boil-water alert was issued, prompting three elementary schools to be closed on Monday, June 24 after a student was diagnosed with a suspected E. coli infection.

At approximately 11:30 a.m. on Monday, Nassau County Executive Laura Curran tweeted that the order had been lifted and the drinking water has been deemed safe for consumption after the New York State Health Commissioner conducted numerous tests.

“Thank you to our Health and Emergency Management teams for working to swiftly resolve this issue,” she said.

When the boil-water alert was issued on Friday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered the Office of Emergency Management to deliver 30,000 bottles of water to Long Beach out of precaution, with more bottles delivered over the weekend.

School officials said the closures of the East, West and Lindell schools on Monday were made out of "an abundance of caution.”

"Although we can provide adequate bottled water for students and staff to drink, we cannot guarantee proper handwashing among students," the school district said in a statement. "Even though this is really precautionary, and we have been assured by the city that they hope that the alert will be lifted soon, we do not want to take any chances with the health and safety of our students and staff.

Symptoms of E. coli include stomach cramps, diarrhea, and vomiting for several days. Others may endure a minor fever.

"Some illnesses last longer and can be more severe. Infection is usually diagnosed by testing a stool sample. Vigorous rehydration and other supportive care is the usual treatment; antibiotic treatment is generally not recommended," according to health officials. "Most people recover within a week, but, rarely, some develop a more severe infection. 

"HUS can occur in people of any age but is most common in children under 5 years old, older adults and persons with weakened immune systems. It is marked by easy bruising, pallor and decreased urine output."

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