Virginia agencies investigate E. coli hospitalizations connected to Lake Anna visits

The Virginia Department of Health, along with the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, is investigating “approximately 20 probable cases” of gastrointestinal illnesses connected to visits to Lake Anna in Spotsylvania County over Memorial Day weekend.

In a news release last week, the VDH said some of the hospitalized patients have been diagnosed with Escherichia coli, or E. coli, infections. They said a majority of the reports of the gastrointestinal illness have been seen in children.

WTOP news partner 7News spoke to a mother whose 15-year-old daughter, after the spending the day at the lake, “has been diagnosed with hemolytic uremic syndrome. She’s in kidney failure.”

Both agencies say they don’t have enough information yet to set up a water or swimming advisory for the region, but prompt people to be cautious around the lake and other bodies of water. They recommend anyone suffering with symptoms like stomach cramps, diarrhea, vomiting, fever or chills after being in the lake to receive medical care.

In an email to WTOP, VDH communications manager Larry Hill confirmed that DEQ was conducting water testing this week and will announce its results at a later date.

“Again, if anyone is experiencing symptoms that visited Lake Anna since Memorial Day, (they) should get checked by their private physician and notify their local health department. We are looking into several possibilities how this may have occurred and don’t have an answer yet,” Hill said.

To find your nearest local health department, visit the VDH website.

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Ciara Wells

Ciara Wells is the Evening Digital Editor at WTOP. She is a graduate of American University where she studied journalism and Spanish. Before joining WTOP, she was the opinion team editor at a student publication and a content specialist at an HBCU in Detroit.

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