A Jackson-area fitness center has been linked to an E. coli outbreak.  An investigation conducted by the Missouri Department of Health and Human Services has linked at least five confirmed cases of E. coli to Class Act Family Fitness. The strain of E. coli was unspecified.

Since April 28, 14 people have reported E. coli-like symptoms.

drinking-fountain-ecoli-featured.jpgAccording to a press release from the Missouri Health Department, officials with the Cape Girardeau County Public Health Center tested water from a drinking fountain and a faucet within the facility and confirmed the presence of E. coli in both samples. The sports complex, which is served by a private well, shut off its water last Thursday at the urging of local health officials.

The owner of the fitness center, Shawn McNally, believes the complex well was infected with bacteria during rainstorms last month. McNally said he has added chlorine to the well and is installing a chlorinator. Until the water is deemed safe, he has agreed not to provide drinking water from the facility, and he has sent emails and made phone calls to his clients.

“The safety of the kids is the No. 1 concern,” he told the Southeast Missourian. “I, my wife and our four daughters live here and we drink the water every day, so obviously we have to make sure the water is good for ourselves and our family members.”

Further testing is being done to confirm that it is the same strain that caused the illnesses.