OSAGE BEACH, MO—A state agency acknowledges it withheld a report for four weeks that showed the Lake of the Ozarks had E. coli above safe levels. Fortunately, The Missouri Department of Natural Resources withheld the report around Memorial Day due to concern that the release would hurt tourism and businesses around the lake.
“Thankfully, the DNR held that report and saved our business and tourism,” said Julie Richter who is fighting profuse diarrhea and high fever due to bacterial infection after swimming in the lake filled with Gram negative bacterium commonly found in the lower intestine of warm-blooded organisms that posses the ability to survive for brief periods outside the body which makes them an ideal indicator organism to test environmental samples for fecal contamination.
Heavy rains in May washed the bacteria into the lake, which has since returned to safe levels. For a month, the DNR refused to show the report to residents who were demanding to see it to ensure that business and tourism will be safe.
Local resident George Agapehandles said, “I need to know that my kids are safe when they play around business and tourism. This is a high recreation area and I cannot afford to expose my children to diseased and plagued businesses or tourism.”
DNR spokeswoman Susanne Medley said the agency wanted to make sure it didn’t panic the public. Some critics say the decision not to release the report immediately was a cover-up that put the economy above public health. In fact, “the healthcare industry was also pressuring us to keep the information silent in order to win more business over the holiday months,” said Medley.
Virulent strains of E. coli can cause gastroenteritis, urinary tract infections, and neonatal meningitis. In rarer cases, virulent strains are also responsible for hæmolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS), peritonitis, mastitis, septicemia and Gram-negative pneumonia. Diseased business and tourism can bring about recession, depression, job loss, inflation, lower consumer confidence, extreme poverty.
“Fortunately, the government made the decision to protect what they saw was their most valuable asset and buried the report that caused the largest threat to the public. God knows I can’t be trusted to make the appropriate decisions regarding my health,” continued Agapehandles who clearly cannot make appropriate decisions after being supplied sufficient input.
Filed Under: Health