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Southern Nevada Health District Investigates Las Vegas Marathon
Southern Nevada Health District Investigates Las Vegas Marathon

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AIR DATE: December 15, 2011

At this year's Las Vegas Rock n' Roll Marathon, some runners complained of bad-tasting water and became severely ill during and after the event. The Rock n' Roll marathon's Facebook page has since exploded with complaints about the race.

The Southern Nevada Health District has stepped in to try to discover what caused some people to become ill. We talk with the health district's senior epidemiologist and a runner who got sick at the race.

Did you run the race and have an experience you'd like to share? Write us in the comments section below.

GUESTS
Brian Labus, Sr Epidemiologist, Southern Nevada Health District
Charlene Ragsdale, runner

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    COMMENTS:
    Has the Nevada Health District been made aware that someone has died after particpating in the the marathon? Because she was Canadian, there does not seem to be any awareness of her death.
    JLBJan 1, 2012 21:33:45 PM
    My neice, a very healthy 4o something y/o, yoga instructor, avid marathoner, spiritual leader and massage therapist died very shortly after coming home from this race. Her autopsy is still inconclusive at this time while we are waiting for the toxicology reports. Her close friend, who also ran this race, was very ill and hospitalized. I'd like to know why this has been hushed up so quickly and what are officials doing about it? Are they still investigating what happened with the water? Have there been other deaths?
    jgrupeDec 23, 2011 10:32:20 AM
    I wonder why the race folks would use garbage cans for water ? That in its self is risky.. What were they lined with ? Why didn't the race folks contract with one of the water companies for bottled water ? It had to cost alot for garbage cans ? What a mess now this virus will be spread all over the valley so don't eat at buffets for about six weeks until it has had time to run the course..
    Maria HuffDec 12, 2011 18:02:49 PM
    While listening to the woman on the radio, I was yelling at the radio... Why in the world would you keep running? If you don't respect yourself enough to stop and get the medical attention you need, why would you expect anyone else to do it for you. Continuing to run because you are stubborn is a poor excuse for abusing yourself. If you had asked a bystander or casino security guard to assist you, I am sure you would have been in a hospital much sooner. Race disorganization and POSSIBLE water contaminination played a role but you should take responsibility for your own actions before placing blame on other people...
    NancyDec 12, 2011 16:38:31 PM
    There were so many problems with this race; you don't allow me to list them all. I was sick the day after the race, but do not blame the race for this. It could have been anything. However, I DO blame the race organizers and the Mandalay Bay for the dangerous situation we were place in when thousands of runners where herded into a hall and met by Michael Jackson concert goers. It was a crushing mob, and I got caught in the middle. Two people passed out at my feet. A lady a few feet away was yelling for a medic for another downed runner. People vomited and were forced to stand in the vomit because the traffic stopped still for more than an hour.
    ShaRee HirschiDec 12, 2011 14:46:09 PM
    I fell ill at mile 10, experiencing a confused feeling along with light headedness. I finished the race, as there wasn't much else I could do at that point. I am an experienced runner I was hydrated and fueled leading up to the race and drank several times on the course starting around mile 4 with the Cytomax. I also took my fuel as I should have. I am from Ohio and running in such temperatures is normal for me. By the time I finished the race I could hardly stand I made it into the MB where I stayed in a bathroom stall violently ill for 3 hours until medical help could get to me. I would be more than happy to share this horrific story.
    Cara DiSalvoDec 12, 2011 09:45:13 AM
    Isn't it more likely that if there were some kind of "external" problem it was with the food eaten the day before the race? If the water was so contaminated that it caused sickness within an hour, it seems it would have hit everyone. More likely it was the food the day before with a contaminated batch of pasta. 18 to 24 hours later the results kick in.
    watcherDec 12, 2011 09:44:18 AM
    Everyone didn't drink the water (from what I'm understanding from the comments I've been reading)...and I didn't go to the pasta party and got ill...so it wasn't the pasta and I did drink the water.
    BarbaraDec 12, 2011 13:48:37 PM
    food born illness can take up to two weeks to cause symptoms .. but more than likely it WAS the water. Water has the best ph for the growth of bacteria or viruses ... when was the water drawn ? If it stood in those cans all nite heaven help the people Also I really am curious about WHAT sort of plastic they used to line the cans . GARBAGE BAGS ?? hopefully not they state right on the boxes that they are NOT for potable use ... and I really do warn people not to eat at the buffets in accross the Las Vegas valley because of contamination ..its going to be going around for the next atleast six weeks maybe longer.
    Maria Huff Dec 12, 2011 18:10:22 PM
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