MDH: Stay home if you’re ill and don’t go swimming at your local beach or pool
(ABC 6 News) – With dozens of people reporting illness after swimming in Schulze Lake at Dakota County’s Lebanon Hills Regional Park in the last three days, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is asking people to stay home and not visit other beaches if they are experiencing illness that involves vomiting or diarrhea.
MDH has received more than 60 reports of illness after swimming at Schulze Lake, mainly from people with vomiting and diarrhea, over the last three days, according to Trisha Robinson, waterborne disease supervisor. Health officials are still determining the exact pathogen causing the illnesses, but the symptoms and incubation period are consistent with norovirus infection.
“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,” Robinson said. “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.”
Robinson explained that norovirus is spread by the fecal-oral route, which means that people who have been ill shed the virus in their stool.
“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,” she said.
Symptoms of norovirus typically include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or stomach cramps that begin 12 to 48 hours after ingestion of the virus. People who are ill and concerned about their health should consult their health care provider.
If you have been sick after swimming at Schulze Lake, you can contact the Foodborne and Waterborne Illness Hotline at 651-201-5655 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.