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More fall ill after swimming in lakes

14 cases from swimmers at Wallum Lake

Updated: Friday, 12 Jul 2013, 9:03 PM EDT
Published : Friday, 12 Jul 2013, 9:03 PM EDT

By Angie Angers

BURRILLVILLE, R.I. (WPRI) — The Rhode Island Department of Health is urging residents to protect themselves after nearly 150 people have reported becoming sick with shigellosis.

Earlier this month, 134 cases of the illness were reported from people who swam at Spring Lake Beach on July 4. An additional 14 cases were reported from people who recently swam at Wallum Lake , and more cases were reported from Rhode Island residents who swam in Massachusetts.

The Director of Health Michael Fine recommends to wash your hands frequently and to not swim if you have been sick with diarrhea in the past 48 hours.

Most people infected with Shigella develop diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps starting one to three days after exposure. Most infections are not severe and last between 48 and 72 hours.

The Department of Health investigated an outbreak of the gastrointestinal sickness after people were sickened after swimming in Burrillville. The beach has since been reopened to swimmers.

People who develop symptoms of diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever or vomiting should contact their doctor.