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Updated: 07/19/2013 6:39 PM
Created: 07/19/2013 11:45 AM | Print |  Email
By: Maricella Miranda

E. Coli Symptoms, Avoiding Illness in Minnesota Waters

Photo: MGN Online

News of an E. coli outbreak in the Big Island area of Lake Minnetonka have caused Minnesotans to think twice before boating and swimming in the popular waters.

On Friday, July 19, the Minnesota Department of Health reported that three E. coli illnesses have been linked to swimming the Big Island area of Lake Minnetonka.

Click here to read the story about the outbreak.

The department of health offers these suggestions to avoid the illness:

Tips to Healthy Swimming

  • Don't swim when you have diarrhea.
  • Don't swallow lake water.
  • Practice good hygiene. Shower with soap before swimming.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly after using the toilet or changing diapers.
  • Take children on bathroom breaks or change diapers often.
  • Change diapers in a bathroom - not beach side.

Symptoms of E. Coli

  • Illness typically includes stomach cramps and diarrhea, often with bloody stools.
  • Those ill have little or no fever.
  • Illness typically happens five days after swimming in contaminated water.
  • Sometimes, the infection can lead to serious complication called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which can cause kidney failure and other severe problems, including death.
  • HUS can occur a week or more after the onset of diarrhea.
  • The very young, the elderly and those with weakened immune systems are at a higher risk of developing complications from E. coli.
  • Anyone who believes they have E. coli should contact their doctor.
  • Click here for updated information about beach water quality in Hennepin County lakes.

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