Georgia health officials became aware of the outbreak after several children were hospitalized in Atlanta-area hospitals with E. coli, somewith HUS. The parents of all children with E. coli infections reported having visited the White Water Water Park in the few days before their children fell ill with symptoms of E. coli infection. In all, 26 culture-confirmed E. coli cases were identified. Among children under five years of age recognized with E. coli infections, 40 percent were diagnosed with HUS.
Investigators considered three potential causes of contamination in their outbreak analysis: repeat contamination of the park by an E. coli-infected person, persistence of bacteria in pool water overnight due to low chlorine levels, or persistence of bacteria in the pool environment but not in the water. Low chlorine levels in the suspect pools were detected on all days of exposure, and it was never determined whether one of the pools had chlorine in it at the time when the exposures occurred.
The E. coli lawyers resolved all clients’ claims in December of 2000.