Boaters near Big Island

Some individuals who boated or swam during the holiday near Big Island Regional Park are reporting symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea. Hennepin County Public Health is investigating the cause.

After a string of illnesses reported by boaters near Big Island Regional Park over the holiday, officials from Hennepin County Public Health are investigating the cause and location of the reported illnesses.

Currently, public health officials are interviewing individuals who reported symptoms of diarrhea and vomiting.

“It could be multiple different diseases, we have to wait and see the results,” said Dave Johnson, Hennepin County epidemiology manager.

Health officials are awaiting results of submitted stool samples, which are expected at the end of the week.

“We are still working through the interview process,” Johnson said. “We have received submitted stool samples and we are waiting for those results to come back. It is important to see those results.”

According to Carolyn Marinan, communications director for Hennepin County, said the reported illnesses of those who were near Big Island are not yet linked to E. Coli and officials are waiting for test results.

“We have no knowledge of any connection,” Marinan said. “We are awaiting those tests.”

Beaches closed in Excelsior

A regular environmental review conducted by officials revealed high levels of E. coli bacteria in the water near the beaches in Excelsior. The beaches are closed until further notice.

The beaches in Excelsior are not the first this season to close after testing for high levels of E. coli bacteria. Beaches on Bde Maka Ska and Lake Hiawatha in Minneapolis were recently closed.

According to Johnson, the health department will continue to update information on the web at hennepin.us. Information can be found on beach closings at hennepin.us/beaches.

The county no longer needs individuals to come forward, but if those who were on the lake are experiencing symptoms, they should reach out to their physician.

“If you are experiencing symptoms, contact your primary care,” Johnson said.

Johnson also advised those with symptoms to not go swimming or prepare food and drink and always wash their hands.

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