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Flagstaff weighs action on resistant bacteria at sewage plant

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. -- Flagstaff officials are considering what to do now that research has found antibiotic-resistant bacteria in effluent from the northern Arizona city's central sewage treatment plant.

The Arizona Daily Sun reported that an 11-member advisory panel last week considered a Virginia Tech researcher's findings. Those findings included that the antibiotic-resistant bacteria are multiplying within pipes that distribute the treated wastewater.

Some members said the city should request a study on whether there is a public health problem from antibiotic-resistant bacteria and on exactly what is coming out of sprinklers and other distribution points at parks and sports fields.

Virginia Tech microbiologist Amy Pruden said it's a good time to compare the characteristics of hospitalized patients who have antibiotic-resistant infections to what's found in the water.

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