E. Coli outbreak associated with Virginia’s Lake Anna over Memorial Day weekend

E. coli

VIRGINIA – We’re all ready to enjoy some fun in the sun, but safety is also an important factor.

E. Coli outbreaks erupted at a popular spot in Virginia — Lake Anna — during Memorial Day weekend. According to the Virginia Department of Health, there were at least 25 confirmed an probable cases in the outbreak.

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The health department said while the exact cause of the outbreak has not yet been identified, the lake water is the likely source.

According to VDH, results for water samples collected June 11 indicate all fecal bacteria concentrations were well below a public health level of concern.

But now, health officials are working to keep people safe as they look to cool off.

E. Coli symptoms oftentimes will start with diarrhea. Then several days after, it can develop a more severe syndrome characterized by kidney damage and some disorders of the blood.

That severe syndrome is called Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome. UVA’s Assistant Professor of Infectious Diseases Dr. Patrick Jackson said you shouldn’t try to treat this with over-the-counter medicine.

“It turns out that if you try to treat this E coli with anti-diarrheal medications or antibiotics, it might cause the bacteria to release more of the toxin that causes this some more severe manifestation that hemolytic uremic syndrome,” said Dr. Jackson.

For information about the E. Coli outbreak at Lake Anna, visit the Virginia Department of Health’s website.

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