PICKAWAY CO, OH (WCMH) – The Pickaway County General Health District is investigating a possible shigellosis outbreak at Deer Creek State Park.
Kelly Dennis, the environmental health director for the district, said Thursday morning that 13 people have reported getting sick. According to an earlier statement from the health district, those reports were from June 15 to July 17.
Dennis said the health district planned to sample the water Thursday morning to test for the shigella bacteria because all of the reports came from people who visited the park’s beach. He said there were six cases of confirmed shigellosis from laboratory testing and another seven suspected cases.
People reported symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
Dennis said none of the people affected live in Pickaway County and noted the district is working with the Ohio Department of Health, Columbus Public Health and Franklin County Public Health.
The health district said it may post notices at the beach to let people know what is happening and allow them to make a decision about going in the water. Dennis said investigators do not know the source of the bacteria and may not be able to determine that from testing.
Dennis said that there are occasionally cases of shigellosis but that typically they are single cases, rather than multiple cases linked together. He said there is a risk of exposure to the shigella bacteria even in public pools, lakes or ponds.
According to Dennis, the state park does test the beach.
Anyone with symptoms is asked to report them to a local health department.