EAGAN, Minn. (FOX 9) - The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is reminding people not to go swimming at their local beach or pool if they're sick with diarrhea or vomiting after dozens of people were sickened after swimming at Schulze Lake in Eagan, prompting officials to close the beach.
Over the past three days, MDH has received more than 60 reports of illness after people went swimming at the lake at Lebanon Hills Regional Park. Health officials are still determining the exact pathogen causing people to get sick, but the symptoms and incubation period are consistent with norovirus infection, MDH says.
"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," Trisha Robinson, waterborne disease supervisor, said in a press release. "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 spread by the fecal-oral route, which means people who have been ill shed the virus in their poop.
The beach at Schulze Lake in Eagan is closed after dozens of people were sickened. (FOX 9 / FOX 9)
"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," Robinson said.
Symptoms of norovirus include vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach cramps that typically begin 12 to 48 hours after ingestion of the virus. People who are sick should contact their doctor. According to the CDC, it's the third most common swimming-related illness.
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.