Baker City leaders criticized over parasite outbreak

Baker City leaders criticized over parasite outbreak

Credit: Courtesy U.S. Dept. of Environmental Protection

A closeup of the cryptosporidium parasite

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by Associated Press

KTVB.COM

Posted on September 9, 2013 at 10:24 AM

Updated Monday, Sep 9 at 1:47 PM

BAKER CITY, Ore. -- A divided City Council plans a private meeting Tuesday over two Baker City leaders and an outbreak of sickness traced to a waterborne parasite.

The Baker City Herald reports that two of the council's seven members have been critical of the work of City Manager Mike Kee and Public Works Director Michelle Owen leading up to the outbreak.

One member suggested in an email to Kee that he retire.

But at least three other members of the council have come to the defense of the Kee and Owen.

Hundreds of people, perhaps as many as a thousand, were affected by the contamination caused by cryptosporidium. Spread by feces in water, it causes diarrhea.

Health officials haven't pinpointed the cause. Some city officials suspect cattle near surface water supplies.

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