Jet Fuel Water Was Just the Start; USS Abraham Lincoln Has E. Coli
In recent USS Abraham Lincoln news, the drinking water on board was found to be contaminated with the bacteria E. coli. This occurred soon after the USS Nimitz found jet fuel in their water, causing several troops to fall ill. Keep reading to learn more about the E. coli outbreak, as well as the USS Abraham Lincoln and the connection between this boat and the Navy fuel leak in the USS Nimitz.
USS Abraham Lincoln and E. coli Outbreak
In late September 2022, the ship found murky and foul-smelling water on board. The water was tested and found to contain E. coli, but the E. coli was not the cause of the cloudy water.
The cause of the smell and discoloration is still unknown, as well as the strand of E. coli inside the USS Abraham Lincoln’s drinking water. However, the Sailors on board are being monitored for any E. coli symptoms.
What Is E. coli?
E. coli is a bacteria that’s commonly found in bodies of water, such as lakes, streams, and rivers, so E. coli water tests are important before consuming any kind of water from these sources. Many strains of E. coli are harmless to humans, but there are some strains that can cause illness and even be fatal if the infection is severe enough. E. coli in water can be an indicator of the presence of animal waste or sewage.
E. coli Symptoms
The symptoms of bad strains of E. coli can vary per individual, but (thankfully) for many people, E. coli is not a serious illness. For most people, E. coli symptoms will consist of vomiting, diarrhea, and severe stomach cramps. A low-grade fever can also be a symptom of E. coli.
Thankfully, most cases of an E. coli infection usually only last around five to seven days for most people. An E. coli infection can, however, progress to something worse: Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS). Only 5-10% of people with an E. coli infection develop HUS, but it can be life-threatening. The symptoms include decreased urination, excessive tiredness, and losing color in the face.
E. coli can lead to serious issues; hopefully, none of our Sailors will fall ill from it.
Is E. coli Contagious?
Yes. E. coli can be transferred from person to person. Thankfully, things like sneezing and coughing do not transfer E. coli, but once someone has consumed something contaminated with E. coli, it can be transferred from person to person through hand-to-mouth contact. Improper food handling and inadequate hand washing can lead to the spread of E. coli.
Parallel Problems With Nimitz-Class Aircraft Carriers
Both the USS Nimitz and the USS Abraham Lincoln are Nimitz-class aircraft carriers. What makes ships in the Nimitz class so unique is that they use nuclear power to propel the ships.
They’re operated by two A4W nuclear reactors that can propel the ships. As a result of the nuclear reactors powering the ship, the Nimitz-class boats can go for over 20 years without refueling. Additionally, they’re predicted to last around 50 years in service.
With the USS Nimitz and the USS Abraham Lincoln having issues with their water supply, it begs the question: What’s up with the Nimitz-class aircraft carriers? Maybe there’s some sort of construction issue with these boats or a problem with their water-supply system. Or maybe, these two occurrences happening within weeks of each other is just a coincidence.
The issues shown within the USS Nimitz and USS Abraham Lincoln are frightening, and many worry they may just be the start of a greater problem with Nimitz-class ships. As of now, no Sailors have fallen ill as a result of E. coli in the water. We can only hope that no more issues with Nimitz-class ships will crop up.
Suggested read: Affected by Camp Lejeune Water Contamination? Learn Your Options