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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Can breathing in mist from water contaminated with E. coli cause an infection?

If river water is contaminated with E. coli (probably cows in the river and a feed lot close enough to river for the runoff to reach it ) and that water is used to water your garden how much risk is there. Also I use a sprinkler that is pretty misty , vapors in the air. Can myself or animals be infected by breathing in contaminated mist.

I live down stream of Zion national park ( E. coli levels measured last time was 10 times the safe level ) , grazing cattle in the river and a feedlot very close to virgin river.
Maybe less than 1000 ft.

I have had two bouts with coli and a friend just got out of the hospital from coli.
Fri, 1 Jun 2018
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General & Family Physician 's  Response
Hello and Welcome to ‘Ask A Doctor’ service. I have reviewed your query and here is my advice.

As long as the E.coli is concern that organism habitat in water, tissues, body fluids and it is not the air born bacteria, infection can only be possible when something you drink or eat that is contaminated with E coli beside this it is nothing to worry, one thing if you are handling the suspected liquid medium of E coli then it is extremely required to take care of your hygiene.

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