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Beaches at Lake Nokomis reopen after summer E.coli outbreak

Swimming season has ended so no lifeguards are on duty.

Enough time has passed for the beaches at Lake Nokomis to reopen after an E.coli outbreak sickened at least 73 swimmers this summer. 

It was Aug. 13 that officials shut down the beaches on the popular Minneapolis lake after the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) began confirming positive E.coli tests in people that swam in the lake.

The outbreak began with three children sickened by E.coli. That number rocketed to 73 confirmed cases by late August – all of them linked back to Lake Nokomis swimmers who were in the lake from mid-July through mid-August. 

The Shiga-toxin E.coli strain can take up to 16 days before symptoms show. The symptoms often include diarrhea (sometimes bloody), stomach cramps and possibly a low-grade fever. 

Both beaches at the lake were closed until the end of the season in an effort by the MDH to contain the outbreak, with the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board officially ending the closure on Thursday. 

But because the swimming season ended Labor Day, there are no more lifeguards, docks or buoys on any Minneapolis beaches, and the Park Board is not testing for E.coli anymore this year. 

The water, however, has been deemed safe. 

Summer is nearly over but the forecast does call for some warmer temperatures next week. 

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