FAIRVIEW — Swimming is off limits at Blue Lake Park until the health department is assured that it’s safe to go back into the water.
More than a dozen people got sick after swimming in the lake last weekend. They reported vomiting, diarrhea, rashes and cramps.
The county collected water samples earlier this week, but they haven’t got the results yet. E. coli though has been ruled out.
“Our initial impression is that the illness is due to norovirus or a similar stomach virus,” said Deputy Health Officer Dr. Jennifer Vines.
Norovirus spreads easily and is the most common cause of vomiting and diarrhea with recovery time usually 24 to 48 hours.
“It makes we wonder what the reason is,” said a mother who brought her kids to enjoy the splash pad.
That water comes from a separate chlorinated public water supply. The park is still open for visitors. Boaters have ignored the warning and are getting splashed by the water.
Officials say anyone who swam in the lake and has symptoms should drink plenty of fluids and contact their doctor.
This isn’t the first case at Blue Lake. There have been outbreaks of both norovirus and E. coli in the past. Last year, blue-green algae scum was found in the water.
“It seems like it happens every year,” said one visitor. Some people who live in the area want the man-made lake shut down permanently.