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Washington lake closed after 200 swimmers get sick from mystery virus

Health officials are requesting that anyone who visited the lake between July 10 and July 13 be extra diligent about washing hands.
By Brooks Hays   |   July 16, 2014 at 1:03 PM   |   Comments

http://cdn.ph.upi.com/sv/em/i/UPI-3871405528353/2014/1/14055297812658/Washington-lake-closed-after-200-swimmers-get-sick-from-mystery-virus.jpg
KITSAP COUNTY, Wash., July 16 (UPI) -- More than 200 people who visited and swam in Horseshoe Lake in Kitsap County, Wash., are experiencing cramps, nausea and diarrhea -- symptoms of a mysterious viral outbreak.

In a statement released by the Kitsap Public Health District and Kitsap County Parksofficials, officials referred to the outbreak as a "norovirus-type illness." The lake, a popular weekend spot for locals looking to take a picnic and dip, has been temporarily closed until lab tests confirm the source of the outbreak.

"Horseshoe Lake park and swimming beach closed until further notice," reads an alert on the park's website. A sign on the park gates says the same thing.

Some would-be visitors are having to change their plans -- a small price to pay for avoiding several miserable, bedridden days.

"We were going to have a family reunion out here this weekend and now I have to get a hold of everyone and let them know it's going to be somewhere else, or canceled," local Diana Hughes told KOMO News.

Health officials are requesting that anyone who visited the lake between July 10 and July 13 be extra diligent about washing hands. Anyone experiencing viral-like symptoms are to report their experience to Public Health District and seek medical care if the symptoms last more than 24 hours.

The CDC describes norovirus as a "very contagious virus" which spreads via "an infected person, contaminated food or water, or by touching contaminated surfaces."

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