E. coli closes Lakeville, Minn. beach - KMSP-TV

E. coli closes Lakeville beach, duck population 10% above average

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Another summer E. coli bacteria outbreak closed a Lakeville, Minn. beach on Monday.

Valley Lake beach was closed after water tests indicated unacceptable levels of the bacteria. The water will be tested on a daily basis until it is safe for swimming.


Some beaches see repeat closures year after year -- Valley Lake beach was closed last year in July, and in 2011. Typically, duck and goose feces are the culprit.

Last week, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources reported an increase in the state's breeding duck population and a decline in the Canada goose population compared to last year.

Despite lingering cold weather and record late ice-out in 2013, the state's estimated breeding duck population sits at 683,000 compared to 469,000 last year. That's 10 percent above the long-term average of 620,000.

This year's Canada goose population, on the other hand, was estimated at 250,000 -- considerably less than last year's 416,000. 

Numbers were tallied via a helicopter survey of nesting Canada geese in April. The survey includes most of the state except for the Twin Cities metropolitan area. April snowfall combined with a late ice-out led to fewer nesting successes, and therefore, fewer goslings. During the past 10 years, the Canada goose population's average has ranged from 275,000 to 350,000.


Last week, state health officials reported three E. coli illnesses linked to swimming in Lake Minnetonka near Big Island.


Stomach cramps and diarrhea are two of the most common symptoms. People tend to become ill within two to five days of swimming in contaminated water.

Read the full list of symptoms: http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/idepc/diseases/ecoli/


- Don't swim when you have diarrhea.
- Don't swallow lake water.
- Practice good hygiene. Shower with soap before swimming.
- Wash your hands thoroughly after using the toilet or changing diapers.
- Take children on bathroom breaks or change diapers often.
- Change diapers in a bathroom, not at beachside.


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