‘Frightening’ to see the signs of boiling cauliflower
In a state where the number of residents using boil water for water has tripled in the past two decades, residents in the city of Bellmore, North Carolina, have a different concern.
The water they drink is contaminated with the bacterium that causes the bubbling.
“I’ve been boiling cauliflowers for a while now and it’s just something that scares me,” said Bellmore resident Lisa Davis, who said she has seen some of the symptoms.
“It’s definitely scary, and it scares me a little bit,” Davis said.
“The taste is just like it was boiling, it’s a little funky, and then when you put it in your mouth it’s like, this is not good.”
The bacterium is not found in the water in Bellmore and is not causing any problems, according to the University of North Carolina Health Science Center.
“This is a water-based bacteria that’s not found anywhere else in the world,” said Dr. John R. Hausman, the center’s executive director.
“We’ve never seen anything like this before.”
In the past year, residents have reported headaches, nausea, chest pain, vomiting and dizziness, and a few have even developed anorexia.
The symptoms can last for days or weeks.
“That’s not something that is going to go away with time, and we’re seeing that now,” Hausmen said.
The University of Tennessee Health Science Institute is conducting a research study of the bacteria and hopes to identify a treatment or vaccine.
“A vaccine has to be available,” said Brian Hausmann, the institute’s senior scientist.
“There are no treatments out there that we can do right now to control this.”