E. Coli Outbreak at Popular Virginia Lake: 20 Reported Infections and Hospitalizations

Environmental officials are investigating Lake Anna in central Virginia after at least 20 people reported E. coli infections. According to the Virginia Department of Health, nine of these individuals have been hospitalized.

Children Primarily Affected

The majority of the reported cases involve children. There are also 10 additional cases under investigation, though E. coli has not yet been confirmed in these instances. The infections occurred between May 27 and June 4, which includes the busy Memorial Day weekend.

Awaiting Test Results

Water testing was conducted by the Department of Environmental Quality on Tuesday, but the results are still pending. The infections have been reported from various parts of the lake.

Background on Lake Anna

Formed in the 1970s to help cool a nearby nuclear power plant, Lake Anna has a unique structure with distinct “cold” and “warm” sides. The warm side is heated by water discharged from the plant.

Health Department Advisories

The health department advises swimmers to avoid drinking untreated water and not to swim with open cuts or wounds. Symptoms of E. coli infection include stomach cramps, diarrhea, vomiting, and fever. Severe cases can lead to kidney damage and hemolytic uremic syndrome, a condition that has been diagnosed in five of the infected children.

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