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Public Health responding to E. coli outbreak at Valens Lake Conservation Area

HAMILTON, ON - Public Health is responding to an E. coli outbreak at Valens Lake Conservation Area. There have been seven confirmed cases of E. coli related to Valens Lake Conservation area, with one of the cases being a Hamilton resident. The confirmed cases are predominantly in individuals under the age of 12.

E. coli is transmitted to a person most commonly through consumption of contaminated food or water. If consumed, E. coli bacteria can cause serious illness. Common symptoms can include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal cramps

E. coli may lead to a life-threatening disease including haemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS), especially in young children and the elderly.

Residents who have visited Valens Lake Conservation Area since August 12, 2020 and are concerned about possible E. coli illness should contact their primary care physician. Residents with questions about health risks related to E. coli may call the Public Health Infectious Disease Program 905-546-2063.

The beach at Valens Lake Conservation Area was closed earlier today to mitigate any further exposure to the bacteria at this location. Visitors to Valens should not swim or submerge themselves in the water.

Due to the elevated bacterial levels in the water, residents looking to engage in secondary recreation activities such as kayaking or canoeing, can do so at their own risk. If you come into contact with the water, wash yourself off promptly with warm water and soap. The Hamilton Conservation Authority is posting signs to notify visitors about the risks in the area.