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69 now sickened in E. Coli outbreak at Lake Nokomis

The late July, early August outbreak has impacted dozens.

There have now been 69 people to have fallen sick from the E. Coli outbreak at Lake Nokomis.

Health officials put out an alert earlier this month after three children became sick with the bug after swimming at the lake, prompting the closure of both its beaches.

The Minnesota Department of Health said on Friday it had received 49 confirmed cases of E. Coli-related illness since the outbreak, and on Tuesday revealed that this number had grown to 69.

Those affected went swimming at the south Minneapolis lake between July 16 and Aug. 11, with the Shiga-toxin producing E. Coli taking up to 16 days to show symptoms.

Both beaches at the lake have been closed and will remain that way for the rest of the season, as part of MDH's response to contain the outbreak.

Of the total cases, 20 percent affected children aged 10 and younger. Fortunately, nobody has required hospitalization.

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The Star Tribune reports that with other beach closures at Bde Maka Ska and Lake Hiawatha, among others, this summer, it's the most beach closures seen in the city since it started testing for bacteria in 2003.

The MDH advises anyone showing symptoms of a STEC (Shiga-toxin E. Coli) infection – diarrhea (often bloody), stomach cramps, no or low-grade fever – should see a health care provider.

The MDH and Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board also wants anyone who visited the lake between mid-July through mid-August to complete this survey.

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