This topic contains 6 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  jon serfas 3 years, 1 month ago.

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  • #10158

    jon serfas

    Elsa is currently recovering from a confirmed  E Coli infection, almost certainly caught on the River during the Clinic. The water came up significantly overnight Saturday and she did a bit of swimming later in the day. Since she has eaten most all the same things we have and no one else in my house or her school is sick, the doctors believe she contracted it on the River.

    This is not intended to scare or dissuade anyone from boating the Saint. Just a word of caution. The doctors in St. Louis don’t see a lot of waterborne bacterial illness and even though I insisted they consider it a major risk factor given Elsa’s recent history on the River, they were, initially sceptical. I, having had my own bout with what I thought was Lepto, had a hard time convincing the doc to consider it. I know many others who HAVE had Lepto, or something similar, from paddling the Saint and many report the same problem. Some have been confirmed, mine was not and could have just as easily been E Coli, not Lepto, don’t know. BOTTOM LINE – Waterborne illness is rare around here. If you have symptoms including rapid spiking, high fever, intense muscle pain and cramping, stomach cramping, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and have recently paddled the River, see a doc and tell them where you’ve been and the history of other paddlers getting sick. This is particularly concerning just after a quick rise of the River level, as all the animal waste and human contamination is flushed into the water.

    Elsa has recovered after a weekend in the hospital and is ready to get back on the River with a renewed interest in working on her roll.

    • This topic was modified 3 years, 1 month ago by  jon serfas.
  • #10159


    Oh no! Sorry Elsa.

    John please don’t sue me.

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 1 month ago by  delgado.
  • #10163

    jon serfas

    Slim, them is just the breaks. I’ve know since the first year on the River that this can happen. The good news is Elsa is fine and she wants to paddle soon. just want the rest of us to know it’s possible and consider the River as a possible source of infection if you do have symptoms like those above.


    PS. Slim – I can’t find my RSVP at home – Please Tell Betty “Jon Serfas plus one”. thanks!

  • #10167



    I sent you a PM bout RSVP. Please respond ASAP.

  • #10314

    Dan Prater

    I caught the Madison county man killer last weekend at the river. I had 2 dry runs and no swimming, the river was in the teens… But there is no where else I could’ve gotten it. People ate the same things when we left the river and went to town. I had/have all the same symptoms but no diarrhea. Mostly violent vomiting and heaving every 30 minutes, that lasted Sunday-Wednesday when I went to urgent care because I couldn’t keep food and fluids down. They gave me nausea meds and I was able to fix my severe dehydration with vitamins and couple gallons of pedialyte.


    I literally have never been so sick, or for so long in my entire life. I still feel like I’m gonna die. I think I’m gonna have to check into the hospital tomorrow if I still haven’t improved.


    Also at urgent care I told them I paddled nasty water, with a history of ecoli cases and they totally blew it off as waterborne pathogens. They were eager to test me for strep and when that came back negative they still wouldn’t believe it could be from water and told me it was just a stomach bug

  • #10315


    How is Elsa now? Is she doing better?

    Sorry to hear Dan. Hope you find a place that will treat you correctly. Keep us posted on your health status

  • #10317

    jon serfas

    Elsa has recovered completely. it took a solid 10 days before she felt right again.

    Prater, also tell the docs that people have caught Leptospirosis on the Saint. I had it, Jerry, Gordo and many others have had it. Docs will not come up with that on their own. Doxycycline is required for Lepto. No Anti-Biotics for Ecoli strain Elsa had. They can cause kidney issues , apparently, wit that strain.

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