Health officials investigate E. coli illnesses after many children were hospitalized after swimming in Virginia Lake

Virginia health officials are investigating after several people became ill after swimming in a popular lake.

The state Department of Health said the incidents stemmed from outdoor activities over Memorial Day weekend at Lake Anna, a body of water 86 miles from Washington, DC.

Several people, including children, have contracted gastronomic illnesses and some people have been diagnosed with E. coli infections. The infection causes stomach cramps, diarrhea, vomiting, fever and chills. In extreme cases, the disease can damage organs, including the kidneys, and lead to hemolytic uremic syndrome.

Judy Inglett, the mother of a 15-year-old girl who went swimming in the lake over Memorial Day weekend, said her daughter is now fighting for her life.

“It’s a parent’s worst nightmare,” Inglett, a Fauquier County native, told Gray News. She took her daughter, who she did not name, to the hospital after she began experiencing severe symptoms. The child has undergone at least two cycles of dialysis.

“He was diagnosed with hemolytic uremic syndrome. She suffers from kidney failure. I wouldn’t even let my dogs swim in that lake. There’s definitely something going on. It’s not safe,” Inglett said.

Lake Anna, Virginia is 200 miles long and has 13,000 acres of water. The Virginia Department of Health announced an investigation into several illnesses originating from the lake over Memorial Day weekend. (Virginia State Parks )

Nate Hiner said his eight-year-old twins are at Children’s Hospital in Washington. Her daughter needed blood and platelet transfusions after her trip to the lake.

“It’s terrifying to go from a fun day at the lake to potentially needing dialysis for an eight-year-old.” It’s simply inconceivable to consider yourself a parent,” he told the outlet.

The department said it has received numerous reports of illnesses, primarily in children, and is aware of hospitalizations.

Despite the reports, the ministry said it does not have enough information at this time to confirm the illnesses originated from the lake, meaning it will not issue a swimming advisory.

Lake water will be analyzed to assess current bacteria concentrations and examine what the continued risk is to the public. The illness is not suspected to be linked to an algal bloom.

“As we head to pools, lakes and beaches to enjoy the warmer weather and spend time with our families, it is important to remember to take precautions to prevent illness,” said Olugbenga O Obasanjo, health director of the Rappahannock Health District.

“Showering before and after swimming, washing your hands before eating and making sure you don’t drink lake water are some of the ways to stay healthy this summer. It is also important not to swim if you have diarrhea.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *