November 8, 2020

Lake Nokomis E. coli Outbreak Has Sickened 49

The Lake Nokomis E. coli outbreak has now sickened 49 people, including the three confirmed cases of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) in children that were announced earlier this week, according to a news release by the Minnesota Department of Health. That lake is located in Minneapolis.

Lake Nokomis E. coli Outbreak Has Sickened 49

The ill persons are children and adults. About 20% of those sickened are under the age of 10. In all cases, people got sick after swimming at Lake Nokomis between July 16 and August 11, 2019. No one has been hospitalized.

Officials said it is not unusual to see an increase in the case count after information about an outbreak has been released. People realize their own illness symptoms may be related to the outbreak. Most of the new cases were identified through a survey the Minnesota Department of health sent to groups of swimmers who used the beaches during that time period.

Lake Nokomis beaches will remain closed for the rest of the swimming season, according to Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board officials. The government wants to see no illnesses reported for at least 16 days, which would include two incubation periods of 8 days), before they could say that swimming at the beach was no longer an E. coli risk.

Anyone who is experiencing the symptoms of an E. coli infection, including severe and painful abdominal cramps, vomiting, and diarrhea that is bloody and/or watery, should see a doctor. You may be part of this Lake Nokomis E. coli outbreak.

Officials would like anyone who visited Lake Nokomis from mid-July through mid-August complete a brief online survey. The survey is voluntary.

Health officials are reminding the public to avoid swimming in any body of water, including lakes, streams, rivers, and pools, if they have a diarrheal illness. E. coli bacteria is expelled in feces. It takes just 10 cells to make someone seriously ill.

There are seven other beaches open in the Minneapolis area through Labor Day. The two beaches closest to Lake Nokomis are at Lake Harriet.

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