Wisconsin Boy Hospitalized, Sickened by Floodwaters

June 30, 2008

University of Wisconsin Hospital officials say a 6-year-old boy with a life-threatening kidney disease may have been infected while playing in contaminated floodwater.

Dr. Ellen Wald says the child has been on dialysis and in intensive care since Sunday. She says he will probably stay in the hospital for at least a week.

It’s the first known health problem linked to widespread flooding in Wisconsin earlier this month. But authorities again warned that sewage plants were overwhelmed during the storms and water may be contaminated with bacteria.

Wald says the boy started vomiting three days after playing in a flooded creek near his home in Richland Center.

She says a test for E.coli 0157 was negative, but doctors think he has another, hard-to-detect strain of the bacteria.

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