Yakima, Washington Man develops Hepatitis from Crater Lake – July 21, 1975

Yakima, Washington Man develops Hepatitis from Crater Lake

Indiana Evening Gazette

July 21, 1975

Yakima, Wash. (AP)

A Yakima, Wash, man has become the first person known to have developed infectious hepatitis after drinking from the polluted water system at Crater Lake National Park in Oregon.

Leslie Smith, 46, is being treated for the highly communicable and potentially fatal liver ailment.

“We are unable to identify any other source for his condition other than Crater Lake.” Dr. Robert G. Atwood, Yakima County health officer, said Friday.

Atwood said no other water consumed by Smith fits the guidelines for the incubation period for hepatitis – 10 to 60 days.

Smith and his family visited Crater Lake June 29, staying overnight at the lodge. He. his wife and two children all drank water, coffee or cocoa at the lodge.

The park was shut down last week after it was discovered that a blocked sewage line had contaminated a stream that supplies drinking water for the park. The investigation by the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta came after hundreds of cases of stomach and intestinal disorders were reported among park visitors and employees.

Ernest J. Borgman. general supervisor for the National Park Service in the Klamath Falls. Ore. area, estimated 70,000 people visited the park in June and almost 30,000 in the first 10 days of July, the period during which the park was open and the sewer blocked.

Health officials already have given gamma globulin inoculations to prevent or reduce the effects of hepatitis to more than 9.000 persons who have visited the park or who work there.

While the ailment is highly communicable, Dr. Atwood said it doesn’t necessarily pose a national health hazard.