Four Arkansas swim areas shut down for E. Coli

    6:00 PM, Aug 14, 2013   |    comments
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    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Heavy rain over the last week caused runoff to spill into waterways in northern Arkansas, and that's what health officials believe caused a spike in E. Coli levels.

    "If you swallow a lot of water, then you might have symptoms in the period of a couple or three days. If you swallow a little bit, it might take a little bit longer," said Doctor Gary Wheeler of the Arkansas Department of Health.

    Health Department officials temporarily closed down Mirmachee Camp, Kia Kima Lake, Spring River Beach and Ozark Acres. All these locations are in Sharp County.

    "Obviously we've had a lot more water this summer than we're used to," said Wheeler.

    Wheeler said symptoms of the bacteria usually stem from the digestive system.

    "...Typically cramp diarrhea, occasionally vomiting particularly in younger children. The hallmark and worrisome thing of the severe cases of e-coli symptoms is blood in the stool and so if you have blood or fever associated with diarrhea you really need to see a physician," said Wheeler.

    Experts recommend showering off after swimming in natural swim areas and try to keep from swallowing water.

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