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85 Cases Now Identified in Spring Lake Beach Investigation

PROVIDENCE - The Rhode Island Department of Health (HEALTH) is continuing its investigation of diarrheal illness that apparently began at Spring Lake Beach Facility in Burrillville. Since late Saturday night, HEALTH has received reports of 85 illnesses, with 10 resulting in hospitalization. About 80% of those who are sick are under age 18. The vast majority of those reporting illness swam at Spring Lake Beach on July 4.

Following these reports, HEALTH closed the beach and collected water samples on the morning of Sunday July 7. Those results, available today, showed no evidence of bacterial (fecal) contamination in the swim area. Additional water samples were collected Monday and the beach will remain closed pending the results of the testing today. Testing for specific bacteria is pending. Prior to Sunday, routine testing of the water occurred on July 1. Those samples also showed no evidence of contamination.

HEALTH is still awaiting lab results of stool samples obtained from ill patients in order to identify what exactly is making people sick. Those results are expected as early as tomorrow afternoon.

Anyone who recently swam at Spring Lake and is experiencing diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever, or vomiting should see his or her doctor.

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Related links

Department or agency: Department of Health

Online: http://www.health.ri.gov

Release date: 07-08-2013

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