The bacterial outbreak that sickened 19 people in Montana has been linked to an untreated water source. All of the infected people drank from a concrete box which they thought contained water from natural spring. The water actually flowed from a creek, and government officials believe it was built over a century ago to keep water from eroding the railroad track bed nearby. The outbreak occurred amid a US trend of drinking “raw water”: untreated and unfiltered water taken from freshwater sources.
Proponents of this practice say that untreated water has health-promoting minerals and that it allows people to avoid dangerous disinfectants, fluoride, “mind-control” drugs, traces of pharmaceuticals and heavy metals. However, there is no scientific evidence to support this belief. In reality, drinking untreated, unfiltered water is a major health risk, as it harbors dangerous bacteria, viruses, and parasites. These water sources can also contain harmful radionuclides and mineral deposits.
After 6 people developed infections, health officials launched an investigation to determine the cause. P Even after the health department posted signs warning that the water was unsafe, people continued to drink the wayer. It wasn’t until the state Department of Transportation diverted the water that new cases stopped occurring. Laboratory testing confirmed that all 19 individuals were infected with bacteria called Campylobacter jejuni. This bacteria cause bloody diarrhea, vomiting, nausea and stomach cramps.