HYDRO, Okla. (KFOR) – Residents in the city of Hydro along with surrounding cities are experiencing a stomach illness. The Oklahoma State Health Department is investigating an increased number of stomach illness complaints and they are working to figure out the problem.
The superintendent at Hydro-Eakly Public School’s told News 4 they started seeing students sick around mid-October and are experiencing new cases of the stomach virus every day. He said the elementary students are the ones who are mostly getting sick, and some have even had to be hospitalized.
“So, in our community, we’ve had several individuals who have been seriously ill with stomach illnesses… It’s really affecting our younger children at our school,” said Jeremy Bussey, Superintendent Hydro-Eakly Public Schools.
Bussey said the school is taking extra precautions to keep students safe.
“We really stepped up our disinfecting and cleaning here at the school just as a safeguard. The water fountains are closed. Contacted our emergency management agency, and as soon as I contacted them, within an hour, they had bottled water here available for students,” said Bussey.
One Hydro mother is suffering from a very upset stomach and fever, and so is her toddler.
She uses tap water in her baby’s formula, the water is one of the things health inspectors are looking into.
“She got a really bad fever last night and was having stomach problems and got sick this morning again… I did make her doctor’s appointment today, so hopefully, if it is to do with the water, then we can catch it kind of early,” said Autumn Lynn, Hydro resident.
Autumn Lynn said she’s not the only one sick. She knows of several people in town who are experiencing similar symptoms.
“One of my friends that I work with, her son, actually just went to the hospital and tested positive for E-coli,” said Lynn.
The Oklahoma State Health Department told News 4, their findings so far suggest that it’s something in the water, and not a virus that spreads from person to person.
“Right now, wastewater surveillance in our partnership with O.U. has led us to the water. We’ve seen a couple of pathogens, so that calls for further investigation and testing,” said Erica Rincon-Riley, public information officer for the Oklahoma State Department of Health.
The Health Department is advising residents in Hydro to drink bottled water or boil their tap water while they investigate the mystery illness in the community.
“This is a rapidly evolving and dynamic situation, at this point in the outbreak we can confirm new cases are still occurring. That is why, out of an abundance of caution, we took the proactive step with the health alert,” said “Right now, wastewater surveillance in our partnership with O.U. has led us to the water. We’ve seen a couple of pathogens, so that calls for further investigation and testing,” said Erica Rincon-Riley.
The Oklahoma State Health Department is asking anyone experiencing symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting, fever, muscle aches, to avoid public areas until 24 hours after their symptoms have gone away.