Quincy woman links water to daughter's illness

A mother's Facebook post set off a panic Wednesday in the city of Quincy after she linked her child's illness to recent problems with the city's drinking water.

City officials, including Mayor John Spring, said that the city's water is safe.

â??The city of Quincy's potable water meets all regulations established by the (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency,â?? a statement from Quincy Department of Utilities Director David Kent said. â??At no time has a representative, employer, or physician from St. Louis Children's Hospital made contact with the city to report a water-related illness caused by ingesting potable water of the city of Quincy.â??

Jessica Martin, of Quincy, said her daughter became ill last week and was taken to Blessing Hospital with flu-like symptoms and a rash.

Her daughter is currently in the pediatric intensive care unit of St. Louis Children's Hospital.

Martin said that doctors there diagnosed her daughter with adenovirus. She said that doctors there told her that one possible cause of her 6-year-old daughter's illness is water. â??The doctors here said that it's a very good possibility that this could this be the reason,â?? she said.

Martin said that her entire family was diagnosed with the same virus. Her son first started showing symptoms about 10 days ago. Her daughter got sick Friday and now Martin and her husband are both sick.

City Hall, the city water department, the Adams County Health Department and local pediatricians were flooded with calls after Martin's post went viral on various news web sites in the Quincy area.

The city of Quincy's water is currently under the microscope because of a brown algae issue that has altered the look and the taste of the water. Water officials have said on multiple occasions that the water is safe to drink and that the algae is the result of stagnant water caused by this summer's drought. Click here to read that story.

â??I would say that the water is absolutely safe to drink,â?? Kent said in an interview. â??We are working diligently on trying to resolve the taste and odor issue and we will continue to do so until we overcome it.â??

Adams County Health Department public health administrator Jerrod Welch said the organization received an unusually high volume of calls regarding the quality of water in Quincy. He released a statement Wednesday afternoon.

â??We have also spoken with local medical providers, including Blessing Hospital, and have confirmed that there are no unusual clusters of illness occurring in Adams County,â?? he said.

Blessing Hospital spokesman Steve Felde said that the hospital would not make any comment about the issue.

The adenovirus is a group of viruses that cause respiratory illnesses such as the common cold, eye infections, bronchitis or pneumonia. It can cause intestinal and respiratory infections in children. Infection in children may occur at any age.

Here are some adenoviral facts from the St. Louis Children's Hospital web site:

- Adenoviral respiratory infections are most common in the late winter, spring, and early summer.

- Adenoviruses can occur anytime throughout the year.

- Digestive tract infections are more common in children under the age of 5.

- Most children have had one form of the infection by age 10.

- Respiratory infections occur by coming in contact with infectious material from another individual or inanimate object. The secretions from the respiratory tract may contain the virus. The virus can also survive for many hours on inanimate objects, such as doorknobs, hard surfaces, and toys.

- Intestinal tract infections. Transmission of the digestive strain of the virus usually occurs by fecal-oral contact. Usually this occurs from poor hand washing or from ingestion of contaminated food or water.

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