If you’re hooked on fishing in Philly, there’s some good news for you. Despite its toxic past, Schuylkill River is on the upswing and home to a bevy of marine life, reporter Frank Kummer explains. Contamination apparently also was a serious problem at the Philadelphia Children’s Hospital in August 2016, when staff use of unclean equipment and failure to wear gloves spread an eye infection through the neonatal intensive care unit, affecting over half of the babies examined and allegedly killing at least one.
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Looking to catch some local fish this Labor Day weekend? Turns out, you can find plenty of fish right in the Schuylkill, but the amount you can eat will be limited if you’re watching your PCBs.
In response to a reader's question submitted via Curious Philly, Reporter Frank Kummer took a deep dive into the steadily increasing health of the 135-mile-long waterway.
Once so polluted with man made toxins that it was declared a dead zone, thanks to the Clean Water Act of the 1970s and a little mussel, the Schuylkill today is home to bluegill sunfish, redbreast sunfish, minnows, shiners, white suckers, bass, catfish and carp. (And, until recently, this enormous 40-pound muskie.)
In August 2016, 23 infants contracted viral infections after undergoing eye exams in the intensive-care unit at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, an outbreak that the hospital attributed to some medical staff failing to wear gloves and a "lack of standard cleaning practices" of equipment used in the exams.
Calling the hospital's use of contaminated equipment "shocking"—especially on prematurely-born infants — the family of one child who allegedly died as a result of the infection has filed a lawsuit against the medical institution, but CHOP denies the eye infection is what lead to tiny Melanie Sanders' death.
Summer's end is a bittersweet time, but this Labor Day weekend comes with a silver lining: the stifling heat wave is behind us, but rain could dampen your backyard barbecue.
If you decide to take a dip, just beware of the sea lice.
"Who framed William Penn?" – @kylehuff
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