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Popular Virginia lake being tested after swimmers report E. coli infections and hospitalizations

Health department: Reported exposures have occurred at many parts of Lake Anna
Posted at 5:29 PM, Jun 13, 2024

LAKE ANNA, Va. — Environmental officials are testing lake water at a popular recreational destination in Central Virginia after at least 20 people reported E. coli infections.

At least nine people who sere swimming in Lake Anna have been hospitalized due to the infections, according to the Virginia Department of Health.

Most of the 20 cases are children, the health department said Thursday. An additional 10 cases are still under investigation but E. coli infections have not been confirmed.

The illnesses occurred between May 27 and June 4, according to the health department, a period that coincides with the busy Memorial Day weekend.

The Department of Environmental Quality conducted water testing at the lake on Tuesday, but those results are still pending, according to the health department.

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Lake Anna was formed in the 1970s as a reservoir to facilitate cooling at an adjacent nuclear power plant. As a result, the lake famously has a “cold” side and a “warm” side that is heated by water discharged from the plant to assist in cooling.

The health department said the reported exposures have occurred at many parts of the lake.

The health department issued reminders that swimmers in natural waters, like lakes and rivers, should never drink untreated water and should not swim if their skin has cuts or open wounds.

E. coli infection can cause stomach cramps, diarrhea, vomiting and fever. In severe cases, the infection can damage kidneys, and lead to hemolytic uremic syndrome.

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Local News

Water samples from Lake Anna show no elevated E. coli levels after infections

Jake Burns
6:54 PM, Jun 07, 2024

Five of the E. coli infections include diagnoses of that syndrome, all of them in children, according to the health department.

If you were in the Lake Anna area and experienced a gastrointestinal illness, you are urged to call your local health department and doctor if you are are still sick.

You can visit SwimHealthyVA.com for more information.

This is a developing story, so anyone with more information can email newstips@wtvr.com to send a tip.

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