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OSDH investigating lake-related illnesses in Bartlesville area

OSDH investigating lake-related illnesses in Bartlesville area (Getty Images)
OSDH investigating lake-related illnesses in Bartlesville area (Getty Images)
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The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) is investigating a cluster of lake-related illnesses in the Bartlesville area.

"What we know at this time is a few individuals have presented to healthcare providers with varying symptoms, and initial testing has been negative for Primary Amebic Meningoencephalitis, or PAM, caused by the organism Naegleria fowleri," OSDH said. "The OSDH is working with the individuals' healthcare providers and the CDC to conduct further investigation and testing."

OSDH says they are continuing to monitor for more individuals who may be sick as a part of this cluster. While the investigation continues, if individuals feel ill, they are encouraged to reach out to their healthcare provider and discuss what symptoms they are experiencing. Their provider will then work with them to determine treatment and testing based on their symptoms.

OSDH says they are working closely with the Army Corps of Engineers and the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) during this ongoing investigation.

DEQ announced that the drinking water in the Bartlesville area is safe for consumption.

"We encourage individuals to practice safe swimming practices when going into lakes and rivers, especially in drought conditions," OSDH said. "Reduced stream and river flows can increase the concentration of pollutants in water and cause stagnation."

OSDH provided the following safety tips for those swimming in lakes and rivers:

  • Avoid getting water up your nose. Use nose clips to prevent the water from entering the nose.
  • Don't swim if you have diarrhea. You can spread organisms in the water and make other people sick.
  • Don't swallow pool or lake water. Avoid getting any water in your mouth.
  • Practice good hygiene and shower before you swim and wash your hands after you use the toilet or change diapers. Change diapers in a bathroom, not at a poolside. Wash both your hands and your child's hands thoroughly with soap and water before swimming.
  • Avoid swimming in a pool that has cloudy and/or off-colored water. Especially do not swim in a pool if you cannot see the main drain at the bottom.

For more tips from the OSDH, click here.

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