Whitewater center where teen contracted deadly amoeba had systems inadequate to filter water

Lauren Seitz COURTESY: Seitz family.

CHARLOTTE, NC (AP) – A federal health official says chlorination and filtration systems at the U.S. National Whitewater Center, where a rafter was infected by a deadly amoeba, were inadequate to properly clean the facility’s waters.

The Charlotte Observer reports (http://bit.ly/297YeHW ) that Dr. Jennifer Cope of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says results of all 11 water samples detected the presence of an amoeba that infected and killed an Ohio teenager who had rafted at the center. Lauren Seitz had visited the center in Charlotte with a church group and died June 19.

Speaking by teleconference, Cope called the results “significant” and at levels the CDC had not previously seen.

The center has suspended whitewater rafting and says it will drain all the water from its whitewater system.

State lawmakers are backing legislation that would make it easier for health officials to regulate such centers.

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