COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — A patient from a southern Norway island with contaminated water has died after being hospitalized with gastrointestinal symptoms, authorities said Thursday.
Erik Vigander of the regional hospital entity in southern Norway said the bacteria Campylobacter was found in the patient's system. That's the same bacteria identified in other people sickened since E.coli was found in a reservoir that supplied drinking water for the island of Askoey.
Vigander says the patient who died Wednesday also had "a very serious underlying" health disorder and an autopsy will be performed to determine "the ultimate cause of death."
A 1-year-old child from the island died last week of an infection in the digestive tract, but it was not clear whether the death was linked to the water contamination.
About 2,000 people have fallen sick. Since June 6, 64 have been hospitalized.
Hospital tests have shown that Campylobacter was found in at least three dozen cases.
Local newspaper Askoeyvaeringen reported that there had been been safety issues with the waterworks in the Askoey municipality, and feces was recently found near a reservoir that supplied part of the area's drinking water.
That reservoir was closed earlier this week after E. coli was found.
Campylobacter is one of the main causes of diarrheal diseases and is considered the most common bacterial cause of human gastroenteritis. Infections are generally mild, but can be fatal among very young children and the elderly.
Most E. coli strains are harmless, but some can cause diarrhea, urinary tract infections, respiratory illness and pneumonia.