The Tennessee Department of Health released new details on Thursday in its investigation following a recent outbreak of stomach disease on a Gatlinburg Zipline on tour.

The TDH said it had received more than 500 reports of gastrointestinal disease at CLIMB's Works Zipline Canopy Tour in Gatlinburg.

The TDH said that several patients tested positive for norovirus, and one person tested positive for both norovirus and E. coli.

"At this point, we can not point to a simple cause of this outbreak," said TDH Deputy State epidemiologist John Dunn, DVM, PhD. "Preliminary tests and environmental impact assessments indicate that the zipline's water system may have contributed to the outbreak, but there are likely to be other sources involved in the spread of the disease, including contaminated surfaces and human-to-human transmission."

The TDH said water tests showed fecal contamination of the plant's water system, returning positive results for E. coli. However, Norovirus is more difficult to absorb in water according to TDH.

Norovirus can cause acute stomach disorders with symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea that last for about one to two days. E. coli can be more serious and last for several days.

The TDH said CLIMB Works continues to fully cooperate with the investigation.

CLIMB Works said it immediately switched to bottled water and that on Tuesday a cleaning system was installed in the hope of preventing future disease and that it raised the borehole system 18 inches to prevent any leakage.

© 2018 WBIR

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