170 sickened; I went for a swim at the lake and all I got was norovirus

The Jackson County Health Department in Wisconsin began an investigation Monday, July 9, after receiving notification of several persons who became ill after swimming in Lake Wazee Beach area on July 4th. Initially food poisoning was suspected, however, after investigation, the water in the beach area is thought to be a potential source for illness.

To date there have been over 170 persons confirmed ill with vomiting, diarrhea, headache, nausea, stomachache fever and body aches. Illness does seem to be resolving itself in most persons after about 24-36 hours.

Testing of lake water by U.S. Department of Agriculture officials has not proven any conclusive organism, however markers for fecal contaminants were found to be present in the beach water. E. coli and blue green algae appear not to be factors in causing the illness. Norovirus is being suspected due to onset and symptoms of ill individuals. Samples from several ill persons have been sent to the WI State Lab of Hygiene for testing and results are pending.