85 Now Reported Sick from Burrillville Lake

Jul 8, 2013

New reports of illness are still coming in as Rhode Island Department of Health officials look into an outbreak of bloody diarrhea among people who swam in Spring Lake in Burrillville on July 4th. So far, 85 people have been reported ill, and nine admitted to the hospital, according to the department. But so far, there's no clue about what specifically made them sick. Water test results have not found any bacteria but the department is re-testing. Results from those tests and from patients' stool samples could provide more answers tomorrow.

Spring Lake Beach facility in Burrillville, RI.
Credit Town of Burrillville

Health department officials say that many of the ill ended up in the emergency room, and several have been admitted to the hospital. All of them had been swimming at Spring Lake Beach in Burrillville on July 4th. Spring Lake Beach has been closed while officials test the water to figure out what made so many so sick.

Some possibilities include salmonella, shigella, campylobacter, yersinia and E. coli bacteria. All of those could cause diarrhea and vomiting and serious dehydration. Officials are urging anyone who swam in Spring Lake and is experiencing any of those symptoms to see a doctor.

Recent water quality tests haven’t shown any major problems in the lake other than the proliferation of some invasive species.