July 12, 2024

Probable Norovirus Outbreak at Schulze Lake in Minnesota

A probable norovirus outbreak at Schulze Lake in Minnesota has state officials warning people not to go swimming at their local beach or pool if they are sick. Dozens of  people reported getting sick after swimming at that lake in Dakota County’s Lebanon Hills Regional Park in the last three days.

Probable Norovirus Outbreak at Schulze Lake in Minnesota

More than 60 reports of illness after swimming at that lake have been received. Patients are experiencing diarrhea and vomiting. Trisha Robinson, waterborne disease supervisor at the Minnesota Department of Health, said that officials are still determining the exact pathogen, but that incubation times and symptoms are consistent with norovirus.

Robinson said in a statement, “These types of germs can spread quickly and widely if people who are or have recently been ill swim in the same water with others. It’s critical that people stay out of any water until at least 72 hours after symptoms go away so we can stop the spread of the virus.”

Norovirus is very contagious and is spread through contaminated food and water, and also through person-to-person contact. It is spread through the fecal-oral route, which means sick people shed the virus in their stool.

She added, “Very small amounts of virus can be left on people’s bottoms, who then go in the water, and people nearby can ingest the virus with small amounts of water as they swim. That’s why we always advise that people who have been ill not go in the water.”

Symptoms of norovirus appear within 12 to 48 hours after infection. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach cramps. Most people get better without medical treatment, but some can get sick enough, usually through dehydration, to need hospitalization.

If you swam at Schulze Lake and have been ill with the symptoms of norovirus, see your doctor, and call the Foodborne and Waterborne Illness hotline at 651-201-5655.

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