TV: Woman claims ACL mud gave her rash | News for Austin, Texas | Austin News | KVUE.com | KVUE News |Local News

TV: Woman claims ACL mud gave her rash

06:32 PM CDT on Wednesday, October 7, 2009

By AMY JOHNSTON / KVUE News

While there are plenty of great memories from this year’s Austin City Limits Music Festival, Kathy Okon has a lingering, unpleasant memory that she believes was caused by the mud.

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October 7th, 2009

KVUE’s Amy Johnston reports

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“It is better but… there’s small dots going all the way up my legs. It’s a lot… better,” said Okon.

Okon has a rash on her legs that she believes came from the muddy mess at Zilker Park during the ACL Fest. She is not alone. Twitter, Facebook and the Internet lit-up with similar complaints. Many blame it on Dillo Dirt.

Dillo Dirt was used to fertilize Zilker before the grass was laid-down in early spring.

“It’s true that we do use sewage sludge as one of the components. We also use all the yard trimmings that are picked up around the city,” said Austin Water Utility Engineer Jody Slagle.

Dillo Dirt is composted for weeks at close to 150 degrees, which kills the human disease organisms.

“I use it in my vegetable garden. That’s how comfortable I feel with the product,” said Slagle.

It’s been used around the city since 1987, including public high school football fields, without complaint. Slagle says there are plenty of possible irritants that could be to blame.

“There were over 60,000 people there every day, and we’re all tromping-in and out of port-a-potties that were getting pretty nasty as time went on,” he said.

The smell, by all accounts, was pretty overwhelming.

“The smells I encountered out there were more reminiscent of wet rotting hay or rotting hay,” said Slagle.

“It smelled like a pig farm,” said Okon.

Okon says she’s still pretty freaked out by the rash. A nurse told her it is probably not a fungus, but something she should keep her eye on.

While the anecdotal evidence is out there, official reports are almost non-existent. City of Austin Parks and Recreation says it hasn’t had one rash-related complaint. The Austin Travis County Health Department has had only one.

a “rash”? that’s a pretty weak looking rash?

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2 Responses

  1. Hi Amy,

    I’m trying to find a follow up to your story of the woman who received this red rash at the ACL Music Festival.

    My sister-in-law flew down here from Seattle to go to this event. She attended it all three days and slid around in the mud. She said it was awful.

    She now has returned to Seattle and has broken out in this horrible red rash on both legs. She has been taking predizone and has started to heal, but now the rash is breaking out again in new legions. The doctors she has seen have no clue as to what she has contracted. They may have to biopsy these legions to find out exactly what they are.

    Could you help me in this situation? She is desperate.

    It would be interesting to know what the woman in your report took if anything to heal her rash. And if she went to a doctor and what kind.

    It’s hard to believe that only one or two people out of thousands contracted this rash.

    Thank you,

    Betty Skaggs 512 327 8255

  2. Sorry, I don’t have any further info on the story. Maybe try calling KVUE the TV station. This is just a linked copy of the story, I didn’t have anything to do with reporting it.

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