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7/27/2012

Klineline Pond remains closed to swimmers

Salmon Creek Regional Park is open to the public

Contact

Alan Melnick, Health Officer, Public Health
Phone: (360) 397-8412
alan.melnick@clark.wa.gov

Brian Potter, Vancouver-Clark Parks and Recreation
Phone: (360) 487-8323
Brian.Potter@cityofvancouver.us

Clark County Public Health continues to identify and investigate several cases of Shigella sonnei, bacteria that causes illness and is spread through fecal-oral transmission. The first case of shigellosis was reported July 17. Investigation into the cases identified Klineline Pond, north of Vancouver as a likely source of the infection. To prevent further exposures, Klineline Pond remains closed to swimming, effective July 25. Park visitors may continue to fish in the pond however, they should thoroughly clean all fish and equipment. Fish should be cooked and not eaten raw. Anyone coming into contact with the water at Klineline Pond should wash their hands with soap and warm water.

Public Health has been monitoring and testing the pond for bacterial contamination. Results of pond water samples obtained July 25 show bacteria at levels above that which is considered safe for human contact. Public Health will continue to test the pond for bacterial contamination while the pond remains closed. Once test results indicate that water contact is safe the pond will be re-opened for swimming and wading. Swimmers are encouraged to visit the Vancouver-Clark Parks & Recreation Web site.

Individuals who have been in contact with the water at Klineline Pond between June 27 and July 26 and who are experiencing gastrointestinal symptoms, such as fever, and abdominal pain or diarrhea, especially bloody diarrhea, should call Clark County Public Health at (360) 397-8022 and see their healthcare provider.

What is shigellosis?
Shigellosis is an infectious disease caused by Shigella. Most who are infected with Shigella develop diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps starting a day or two after they are exposed to the bacteria. The diarrhea is often bloody. Shigellosis usually resolves in five to seven days. Persons with shigellosis rarely require hospitalization. A severe infection with high fever may be associated with seizures in children less than two years old. Some persons who are infected may have no symptoms at all, but may still pass the Shigella bacteria to others.

Individuals can transmit Shigella as long as organisms are excreted in feces, typically one to four weeks after onset. It is important to wash hands thoroughly, especially after going to the bathroom, after changing diapers and before preparing food and beverages. People should dispose of soiled diapers properly, disinfect diaper changing areas after using them, keep children with diarrhea out of childcare settings, supervise handwashing of toddlers and small children after they use the toilet, not prepare food for others while ill with diarrhea, and avoid swallowing water from ponds, lakes, or untreated pools.

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